A group of four teens reportedly kidnapped a federal agent from Texas who was vacationing in Florida with his family. The border patrol agent was accosted at gunpoint by the teenagers – the youngest of who was 15 – and was beaten, then robbed before being released.
Reports Fox News on Aug. 16: “The agent was confronted at gunpoint in an Orlando hotel parking lot Wednesday night as he was packing up his car. He was forced into the backseat, pistol-whipped, tied-up and robbed of his wallet. His was then held captive for two hours. His harrowing ordeal ended when the carjackers ditched the car at a vacant drug house and fled.”
The agent, identified as Armando Alaniz, a 44-year-old federal employee with the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, was hospitalized and received stitches to close a wound in his head. The four teens were arrested and charged with armed kidnapping, carjacking and battery.
Police identified two of the older teenagers: Gregory McDonald, 19, and Dante Askins, 18. The other two boys, ages 15 and 16, were not identified since they are minors.
Askins was found after police tracked him down driving a stolen car a day after the incident. All four teenagers have had prior run-ins with the law. Askins is a member of street gang Death Over Mercy, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Two years ago, when he was 16, Askins was charged in a drive-by shooting death. Those charges were eventually dropped.
The incident occurred at the Fairfield Inn and Suites off of Universal Blvd. in Orlando. According to reports, after being carjacked, Alaniz’s wife used the OnStar feature in another vehicle to call police.
“The victim was packing his car when he was approached by four black male suspects,” said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings. “[The wife] notified police through OnStar. The OnStar representative placed a call to the vehicle and heard someone screaming for help.”
The suspects later ditched the car at a reported drug rendezvous point in the Ivey Lane area, and fled. Alaniz was then able to get away from the kidnappers. “The house where it was located was unoccupied and appeared to be a drug house at the time,” said Sheriff Demings.
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Demings said Askins has been arrested five times, and the other teenagers all have had “prolific” run-ins with law enforcement.
“These high-school students were playing a dangerous game, and they got caught playing a dangerous game. If you are coming to our community with criminal intent, we want you to think twice about it,” he warned.