Miami Man Kidnapped, Held Four Days, Shot in the Head Over $500 Debt

Ashley Perez (left) admitted to shooting a man in the head, police say; Felipe Alvarez (right) allegedly helped kidnap him.
Ashley Perez (left) admitted to shooting a man in the head, police say; Felipe Alvarez (right) allegedly helped kidnap him.
via Miami-Dade Corrections

Going into debt with a drug dealer is never a fantastic game plan. But police say one Miami man who stiffed his connection out of $500 worth of narcotics ended up suffering far worse payback than he ever could have imagined.

The victim, whom police haven't identified, ended up kidnapped at gunpoint, locked on a Little Havana back patio for four days, and then shot in the head. Amazingly, he survived the ordeal, and police have now arrested four people behind the bloody payback, including a 21-year-old woman who cops say pulled the trigger.

The Tarantino-worthy revenge plot began April 3, when the victim was discharged from Jackson Memorial Hospital after being treated for an unspecified condition. He found a car full of five people, including 21-year-old Ashley Perez, waiting for him outside.

The victim knew everyone in the car, police say, so the man, still wearing a hospital gown, hopped in — but very quickly realized this wasn't a welcome wagon whisking him back home. The victim had taken $700 worth of narcotics from Perez and still had an outstanding $500 tab. Perez, apparently, was not interested in a layaway plan. As soon as the victim climbed into the car, Perez's friend Felipe Alvarez pulled out a gun and pointed it at the man's head.

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They took him to his family's West Dade home so he could get his clothes, and while he was inside, he slipped a note to his dad.

"Papo, they have me against my will because I owe them money. They have guns. As soon as I leave, call the police and inform them I'm in 5th Avenue 7th Street," the man wrote, holding a finger to his mouth to shush his father.

The armed drug dealers took the victim to their apartment in a squat mustard-yellow building a block north of Calle Ocho and a half-block west of I-95. They angrily demanded money, and two other members of Perez's crew — 21-year-old Rachel Torna and 26-year-old Jennifer Cortez — insulted and slapped him.

They locked the victim on a patio and made him sleep there for days, police say. When he finally begged to be allowed to go to work so he could try to pay them back, Perez grabbed a gun and pointed it at his leg. Then she shot him in the head.

Somehow he survived. Even Perez, police say, said "she couldn't believe he was still alive." She told him to hold a bandage to his bleeding head and tried to clean up the mess on the patio. But she still wouldn't let him get medical treatment.

Around 4 p.m. last Friday, someone had had enough of the bizarre caper. Police received an anonymous phone call pointing them to the address and tipping them off that a woman had shot a man in the head and was trying to hide the body.

Instead, against all odds, Miami Police officers found the victim, still alive but blood-soaked and locked on the back patio, as well as Perez and her crew.

Perez later admitted to shooting the victim, police say. Her three co-conspirators have all denied involvement. There's no word on the condition of the man shot in the head, though he was healthy enough to identify all four of his captors to police.


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