A homeless man went to a residence in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, (about six miles north of Providence) to help a friend who had been arguing with her boyfriend — and was held against his will for more than a week, according to authorities.
The man told police that the suspects forced him to stay in the second-floor apartment for 10 days, the Providence Journal reported Monday. During that time, he was kept in a locked closet, beaten and forced to panhandle on the highway, police said.
His captors threatened to kill him and his family if he didn’t do what they said, according to a police report.
The alleged victim, who hasn’t been identified, called the suspects “drug dealers,” according to the Providence Journal. Police told WJAR-TV they believe drugs played a role in the hostage situation.
The 42-year-old man said he escaped and asked a police officer for help, the news station reported.
He looked as if he was panhandling at a busy intersection in the city one morning when he approached the officer, police said, reported the Providence Journal. That’s when he told Sgt. Peter Spetulunas he was in trouble, authorities said.
His family would be in danger if he didn’t quickly return to the apartment, he told police, the newspaper reported.
Giovanni Dalomba, 22, Julio Rodenas, 23, and Charlene Clanton, 46, who’ve all had prior run-ins with law enforcement, were arrested March 5 and charged with kidnapping, according to court records. Dalomba and Rodenas also face robbery charges. Rodenas is accused of having crack cocaine.
Court records don’t list an attorney for the suspects. Dalomba and Rodenas are free on bond.
Police say the group might have had another victim, WJAR-TV reported. Authorities are still investigating.