(NEW YORK) — Four teenagers were in custody Friday for allegedly carjacking and kidnapping a law enforcement officer who was on vacation in Florida.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings called the suspects high school students “playing a dangerous game.”
Demings announced the arrest of the first three suspects — ages 18, 16 and 15 — on Friday afternoon. The final suspect, an 18-year-old, was arrested Friday night.
They are facing charges of armed kidnapping, carjacking with a firearm and aggravated battery with a firearm, the sheriff’s office said.
A federal law enforcement officer from Texas, who was on vacation with his family, was in a hotel parking lot in Orange County on Wednesday night, when four people forced him into his car at gunpoint, Demings said at a news conference, according to WFTV.
The victim, 44, was driven around for about one to two hours, Demings said. At least one suspect was armed, Demings said, and the victim was pistol-whipped.
The victim was also bound and restrained in the car, Demings said. The suspects took the victim’s wallet, as well, Demings said.
But the terrifying kidnapping soon came to an end.
After the victim’s wife hadn’t heard from him, she notified the police through the OnStar auto security system, Demings said. An OnStar representative placed a call to the car and heard someone screaming for help, said Demings. When the suspects heard the OnStar operator, they ditched the victim and fled in the car, allowing the victim to free himself, Demings said.
The car was abandoned and later recovered, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.
The victim was hospitalized for minor injuries, Demings said, and has since been released.
There’s no indication that the victim was targeted because he’s a federal officer, Demings said, adding that the victim was not armed at the time.
“Because he was a law enforcement officer, I believe that he was well trained, he had a certain amount of calmness,” Demings said.
It’s not yet been determined if the teens will face trial as adults, Sheriff’s Office Captain Angelo Nieves told ABC News.
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