LRPD responding to SWAT call to help recover a stolen vehicle. (Photo: Chris Ross/THV 11 News)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The situation involving police, SWAT, and Arkansas State Police is over in southwest Little Rock.
According to Sgt. Cassandra Davis with Little Rock police, the department and SWAT were called to the Rodeway Inn & Suites located at 2401 W. 65th Street to assist Arkansas State Police with the recovery of a stolen vehicle.
She said they believed the suspect was in one of the rooms of the hotel. After several hours, a woman eventually came out of the hotel room who said she was the suspect's girlfriend, but he wasn't there. Police don't know the current whereabouts of the suspect and they say they don't know if the suspect was ever in the hotel room or if he got away before authorities arrived.
The SWAT situation all started at 6 a.m. Friday when police said an Arkansas State Trooper noticed a 2002 Nissan Sentra that had been reported stolen out of Little Rock. Police said the owner and a friend of his had been kidnapped by the suspects and several other accomplices at a Kum & Go gas station and was taken to a trailer on the 15000 block of Chicot Road where he was hit, kicked, pistol-whipped, and lost his bottom teeth.
Although MEMS responded to the scene, police said the victim refused treatment, and the suspects took him to find the title of his car. When they failed to find the document, police said the victim was taken to a McDonald's on Geyer Springs Road, and he was able to get out of the vehicle and run away.
In a police statement, the victim said his captors kept his friend and threatened to kill his friend if the victim did not bring them 1 million pesos (which is roughly $78,000) and the titles to other vehicles. Officers were able to later find the victim's friend at a home on the 1500 block of South Grant Street, and arrested Jose "Chaparro" Martinez, 35, of Houston, Texas, for kidnapping, aggravated assault and second-degree battery.
Davis said the officer who initially spotted the stolen car on July 26 was able to take the driver, 34-year-old Juan Hernandez-Tonteras, into custody, but his accomplice was not with him. Police did not release the charged he faces.
Hernandez-Tonteras, police said, did a have a hotel key on his person, so investigators went to the room it was associated with and found out that there was someone inside the room, but they refused to come out. A SWAT call was subsequently initiated. The suspect's girlfriend has not yet been charged.
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