Crime

An alleged kidnap-and-torture started at Walmart and ended in a strip club parking lot

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Getting grabbed while coming out of a Walmart and being left tied up in a car in a Cheetah Gentleman’s Club strip club parking lot to be found by police around 3:45 a.m. sounds like frat boy hazing.

But the facial lacerations and burns on the hands police say they saw on the victim, a plastic surgeon, indicated acts more villainous than pranksterish.

Deerfield Beach resident Justin Boccio, 33, and former Fort Lauderdale resident Sergei Nkorina, 53, have been indicted in Fort Lauderdale federal court on charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, kidnapping, and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Though the alleged crime took place on Jan. 14 and 15 and the indictment came down on May 2, the Justice Department didn’t announce it until Wednesday, after Nkorina’s capture in Spain.

From the Justice Department and criminal complaints against Boccio and Nkorina (Nkorina’s complaint claims Boccio waived his right to remain silent and gave up both of them), the following details emerge:

Nkorina shared a home with a woman who was a patient of the victim and friends with Boccio’s wife. Boccio told investigators Nkorina wound up moving in with the Boccios at some point in 2018 and, soon after, suggested the kidnapping for cash.

Boccio went to Budget Rent-A-Car to rent the gray van law enforcement says appears on surveillance video from the Walmart parking lot, the Cheetah parking lot and outside the plastic surgeon’s Broward office during the days before the kidnapping. That last chunk of video showed the van’s license plate, which tracked back to Budget and Budget’s records tracked to Boccio. He used the same phone number for Budget that he uses for his FPL bill.

Video also spotted Boccio inside the plastic surgeon’s office around 4:45 p.m. on Jan. 14. While wearing jeans, a long-sleeved top and a baseball hat with a flag, he used a phone while fussing with paperwork. When the plastic surgeon walked into the room, Boccio got off the phone and left the office.

About 90 minutes later, the gray rented van parked next to the plastic surgeon’s car in the Walmart parking lot. Video shows a man wearing a baseball cap and a reflective vest.

“Victim advised that a man, armed with a firearm, approached him/her and forced him/her into a waiting van, blindfolded him/her, and bound his/her hands and feet,” the criminal complaints say. “Victim advised that there were multiple abductors based on conversations that Victim heard in the van. Victim stated that his/her captors repeatedly used a Taser to shock him/her. Victim advised that he/she was in the moving van for approximately one hour before it parked.”

This turned out to be a Cube Smart storage facility, 5501 NW 15th St., in Margate.

“Boccio described how he helped set up the storage unit by wrapping it in plastic and bringing tools, a table, and a chair,” Nkorina’s complaint said.

After tying the plastic surgeon’s hands to the chair’s armrest, they took off the blindfold. The doctor saw many sharp instruments, good for cutting flesh, and guns. The criminals put documents with personal identification information in front of the doctor as well as a death threat if the doctor didn’t give them money.

“According to Victim, his/her captors struck him/her and used a blow torch to burn the top of his/her hands,” the complaints claim. “Victim stated that they also burned his/her hands with a hot metal object.”

After more beating and burning, they got the doctor’s home address and directions to $50,000 in the house. Thus informed, they poured alcohol down the doctor’s throat and left the plastic surgeon tied up in the parking lot of a Cheetah Gentleman’s Club. None of the court documents specified whether it was the Cheetah Pompano, which would’ve been closer to the storage unit, or the Cheetah Hallandale Beach.

That’s where police checking out a “continuously honking car horn” found the doctor. Boccio showed up on surveillance video there, too.

Boccio and Nkorina went to the doctor’s house, another place with surveillance video. Before they could break in around 2 a.m., one of the doctor’s relatives turned on the lights in the residence, sending the criminals scampering.

“Boccio indicated that he and Nkorina returned to Victim ‘s house on several occasions to attempt to gain entry, but never did so due to lights being turned on in the house and/or the presence of a marked police car at Victim ‘s residence.”

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.

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