YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A trio of Bronx men snatched a Cliffside Park man off the street in a failed effort to collect a debt, then were chased by police last night after they released him on the other side of town, authorities confirmed this morning.
The 36-year-old victim was struck with a blunt object — possibly a gun — let out of the car after his abductors realized he didn’t have any money, Cliffside Park Police Chief Donald Keane told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Bleeding from the head, he approached a special officer stationed at Anderson and Knox avenues and told him what happened, the chief said.
The officer immediately summoned help.
Around the same time, Fairview police issued a broadcast with a description of the silver Acura MDX, with Florida license plates. Residents had called them after seeing the man beaten and dragged into the car outside the Carlia Court apartments at Main Street and Nagle Streets just after 9:30 p.m.
Fort Lee police quickly began chasing the Acura SUV, Keane said.
All three bailed out on Nordhoff Drive, on Fort Lee’s border with Leonia, after the vehicle crashed. One was caught soon after by a Bergen County K9 unit and another by a Fort Lee officer, the chief said.
An intense search was mounted for the third man in Leonia. Officers from Cliffside Park, Fort Lee and Leonia were joined by Port Authority and Bergen County police, as well as a New Jersey State Police helicopter.
He was still at large this morning.
However, Keane said: “Odds are good that we’ll get him.”
“We still need to determine who owns the vehicle,” he added.
Meanwhile, police this morning searched from where the car was abandoned to an area of Leonia, looking for the weapon.
Luis A. Brea, 33, and 32-year-old Anthony A. Espinal-Inoa were being held on $500,000 bail each in the Bergen County Jail after being treated at an area hospital for injuries sustained during the chase.
Brea was charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault and criminal restraint. Espinal-Inoa was charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault and two illegal weapons counts.
Detectives interviewed the victim at an area hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries before being released, Keane said, confirming a CLIFFVIEW PILOT report from last night.
The Acura was being processed for evidence, the chief said.
MUGSHOTS: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF
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