Man says he was held hostage for days in SW Houston home
A man says he was held hostage for over a week in a southwest Houston home. It all unfolded in a subdivision where dozens of families live, having no idea this was happening right next door.
Houston police broadcast a message in English and Spanish telling someone possibly inside a home in southwest Houston to come out. Police stood with guns aimed at the home. Police are looking for someone who held a man, without shoes, against his will.
"They were just chains and he had two locks on each ankle. It was chained to a board that they took off," said the man who helped out the victim.
For his safety, we are not showing this man's face or his home. He says the victim jumped his fence pleading for help. He said the 30-year-old victim from Honduras had been held since being picked up in McAllen.
According to the man with whom we spoke, the victim said he had a 2 by 4 piece of wood attached to his legs and he says the man's captor demanded $3,000 for his release. Somehow, he says the man broke loose and ran to him for freedom, so he called the police.
"Said he had been held there for ten days. Said he had been fed once a day and he was trying to escape. Said they picked him up in McAllen, Texas, brought him here and they held a gun to him and told him to strip. When he came over here, he was in his underwear," the man told Local 2.
Even after all of the messages into the home, Houston police called their SWAT team to go inside and search it.
After a search, HPD says they found evidence that multiple people had been held at the house against their will.
Houston police said this was a smuggling operation. They believe a man in his late teens and a woman were behind the operation and they ran off after the man escaped.
According to police, the windows had been covered up by plywood on the inside and there were signs of barricades.
Police are unsure if the two took anyone else captive as they left. Police say the man had been captive five to six days, which is different from what the witness said of 10 days.
The witness also told police that this was the second location in which he had been held.
The case will now be turned over to ICE for investigation.