The alleged incident began with a case of mistaken identity and ended in a bomb threat, after three men are accused of accidentally kidnapped their intended target's coworker.
Three men in Florida have been charged with kidnapping, after they allegedly abducted a man at gunpoint to later realize they nabbed the wrong person.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida (via Fox News), a man was leaving his home on October 14 when one of the three alleged kidnappers "brandished a black firearm while wearing police attire and a full-face mask." He was then forced into a Dodge Challenger, his phone thrown out of the car and taken to a residence authorities later discovered was an Airbnb rented by the alleged abductors.
The three suspects have been identified as brothers Jeffry and Jonathan Aritsa, as well as Raymond Gomez. According to authorities, Jeffry "asked the victim to identify himself" once they got to the rental, "implying they had kidnapped the wrong individual." Those concerns were confirmed after the victim's abductors checked his ID.
Per the complaint, it appears the mix-up stemmed from the intended target using the victim's car. The man they grabbed and the one they hoped to grab are coworkers.
"Rather than releasing the victim, the kidnappers waterboarded and threatened to kill the victim while pointing firearms, tasers, and an electric drill at the kidnapped victim," reads a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. "The Victim thought he was going to drown," adds the complaint.
According to law enforcement, via the complaint, the Victim was then given a new phone, with which he was able to access his iCloud and get his coworker's phone number. He was then "forced to make contact with the Coworker and attempt to make plans with him." When said coworker eventually reached out -- saying he was at their place of employment -- the kidnappers then allegedly brought the victim to the business in the hopes "they could lure" the other man out.
The complaint states the kidnappers "ordered" the victim to go into the business alone, but instead of luring the other man out, they called in a bomb threat -- with law enforcement saying they did that "to get a rapid police response."
The Aristas were apprehended first, with Jonathan allegedly telling authorities he and his brother had been approached by a man about the incident three days earlier. He refused to say more, adding that he "feared for his life if he provided additional information."
Gomez was arrested shortly after and reportedly told cops the three of them "committed the crime at the direction of an unknown male," who dealt with Jeffry Arista over the phone. The attempted kidnapping was over "monetary debt," Gomez reportedly said, who also stated that he "felt bad for the Victim."
All three of them were charged with kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap -- as well as, according to NBC News, charges of aggravated assault and battery. If convicted, they each face a maximum sentence of life in prison. Jeffry and Jonathan made their initial court appearances on Monday; Gomez has not yet had his initial appearance on the charges.