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[November 13, 2012]
Man, 2 accomplices abducted woman from city street, police say
Nov 13, 2012 (Reading Eagle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Reading police arrested a man who kidnapped a woman at gunpoint Monday with two accomplices over a drug debt and made her strip naked before leaving her at Egelman's Park along Hill Road, investigators said.
Omar Otero, 27, was arrested without incident Monday night at his residence in the 500 block of South 14th Street.
Police were still looking for a relative of Otero's who they said was the gunman during the kidnapping and a teen who also helped abduct the woman, a 30-year-old from the city.
Police did not release the names of the woman or the alleged accomplices.
Otero was awaiting arraignment late Monday on charges of kidnapping, robbery and related offenses.
"It's unusual for something like this to happen with a gun and a kidnapping off a city street in broad daylight," city police Sgt. Donald Sheidy said. "These guys obviously didn't have any concern for human life." According to investigators: Police responded to Egelman's Park shortly before noon for a report of a woman who had been kidnapped, robbed at gunpoint and left naked at the park. A passer-by saw her, stopped and notified police. An ambulance responded, checked the woman and gave her some clothing before she was taken to City Hall for questioning.
The woman told police she was standing near Reed and Walnut streets about 11 a.m. when Otero pulled up in a black vehicle. He told the woman to get into the vehicle, saying she owed him money from a drug purchase.
The woman resisted before a relative of Otero's got out of the passenger side of the vehicle, pointed a handgun at her and ordered her to get into the vehicle.
She got into the back seat next to a male who was 17 or 18 years old.
The trio drove the woman east through City Park when the gunman ordered her to take off her clothing and shoes.
The woman complied, and the men told her to get out when they got to Egelman's Park. They told her they would abduct her and leave her naked somewhere every day until she gave them the money she owed them.
The woman knew Otero only by his nickname, "Rico." She also gave police his cellphone number and they were able to track him down. She picked him out of a photo lineup and police arrested him.
Central Berks Regional police, who also responded and assisted in the investigation, found the woman's clothes scattered along the side of Haag Road in Lower Alsace Township about a mile away from the park.
The gunman was described by police as a clean shaved Latino in his mid- to late 20s. He has a prominent scar on the left side of his face from his cheek to his mouth. He has a medium complexion and a muscular build. Police did not have a detailed description of the younger male in the back of the vehicle.
Police said the victim, whose name was not released, has a history of drug abuse and was cooperative, An investigation continues.
Contact Jason A. Kahl: 610-371-5024 or email@example.com.
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