Four teens in Florida kidnapped a federal border patrol agent on Wednesday and now face being charged as adults. The authorities don’t believe there was any political motivation for taking the 44-year-old agent, but they were unknowingly “playing a dangerous game” in the process.
According to the New York Daily News, the teenagers accosted the vacationing federal border patrol agent from Texas, named Armando Alaniz, in a parking lot in Orlando, Florida. The teens forced the officer to the back seat of his car where they restrained him.
At least one of the culprits was armed and pistol-whipped the man as they drove around for one to two hours.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said he believes the victim did not panic thanks to his training as a law enforcement officer.
“Because he was a law enforcement officer, I believe that he was well trained, he had a certain amount of calmness.”
ABC News reports that the agent’s wife called the police through the OnStar security system when she couldn’t find her husband. An OnStar operator called the vehicle and heard someone screaming in the background.
The call prompted the teens to abandon the vehicle and the kidnapped agent, who later freed himself.
The police arrested the three suspects, ages 18, 16 and 15, on Friday afternoon. The final teen, 18, was captured later that night.
Sheriff Demings said there are no signs the teens targeted the man because he is a federal agent, but they were nevertheless engaged in a risky crime.
“These high school students were playing a dangerous game, and they got caught playing a dangerous game.”
Armando Alaniz was reportedly unarmed at the time of the carjacking. He suffered minor injuries from being hit with a gun and had to be hospitalized.
The two 18-year-olds were identified as Gregory McDonald and Dante Askins.
Fox News reports that Askins was a member of the street gang, Death Over Mercy, and was once put on trial as an adult at the age of 16 for his participation in the drive-by shooting of rival gang member. Authorities dropped all charges for Askins, but his co-defendants are serving long prison sentences.
Authorities are now determining if the teens in this case will also be tried as adults. The minors currently face charges of armed kidnapping, carjacking, and battery with a firearm.
The agent was originally from Texas and vacationing in Florida when he was kidnapped.
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