Police find two kidnapped men after stopping car for illegally driving in HOV laneBy Mason White 10:37 AM January 27, 2015
|Luis Moreno, Jr.|
By: Feng Qian
A man was arrested for kidnapping two men and demanding money from them.
The kidnapping was uncovered after police stopped the man of New Jersey, for driving alone in the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane.
When they searched the car, they discovered the terrified men in the back seat, authorities said.
Luis Moreno, Jr., was pulled over around 8:00 a.m. on Friday, after Port Authority Police Officer Angela Tate thought that he was alone in his silver 2002 Toyota Sequoia when he entered the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on the George Washington Bridge, Port Authority police spokesperson Joseph Pentangelo said.
Moreno told the officer that he had two passengers in the back seat of his van. He then proceeded to roll down the side window to show police his passengers.
The officer saw two passengers seated in the third row of the van and allowed Moreno to continue driving. However, as he drove away, one of the passengers began screaming for help, police said.
When the police ordered Moreno to stop again, the 26-year-old whizzed past her.
Moreno got stuck in rush hour traffic, and was detained for questioning by Port Authority Police.
Officials interviewed a 33-year-old passenger, who speaks only Spanish. The victim told police that Moreno picked up the passengers in Texas, and agreed to drive them to Maryland for money.
However, once they reached Maryland, Moreno demanded more money. When the men were unable to pay more, Moreno allegedly locked the doors of the SUV, took their cellphones away, and left Maryland for New York.
The door locks and rear windows of the van had allegedly been disabled so that only the driver could control them, police said.
The second passenger, 24, said that he was held against his will.
Both victims are believed to be recent immigrants to the United States.
Moreno, who lives in Elizabeth, New Jersey, was driving with a suspended license and was wanted for numerous violations of parole in Texas, the Port Authority Police said.
He was arrested on charges of kidnapping, criminal restraint and receiving stolen property, police said.
He is being held in jail on $1 million bail.