Courts & Crime

Miami Beach ex-cop charged with kidnapping, extortion

A former Miami Beach police officer and an accomplice demanded $100,000 from a man they kidnapped while threatening to cut off his testicles, blow off his head and pull out his teeth if his family didn't pay the ransom, according to a federal criminal complaint filed Friday.

Richard Anastasi, the former Beach officer, and Francisco Arias, his friend, struck the victim, choked him into unconsciousness and shocked him with a stun gun, the complaint said.

Anastasi, 47, and Arias, 42, who impersonated police officers during part of the alleged kidnapping plot spanning March 11 to Monday, were arrested Thursday on charges of conspiring to take the hostage for the ransom.

If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum life prison sentence.

In post-arrest statements, the defendants claimed that Anastasi had been the victim of identity theft and credit card fraud, and that they were trying to recoup money that had been stolen from him.

Read the Miami Herald's Crime Scene blog.

  Comments