ONEONTA – Three men who allegedly grabbed an Oneonta woman off the street and threw her into a van before demanding money were indicted on felony charges of kidnapping and robbery in Otsego County court yesterday, according to District Attorney John Muehl.
Erankie Liberata-Garcie, 24, Erick Tavares, 33 and James Semidey, 26, all of the Bronx, were arrested in May after Oneonta Police received a report from neighbors on Watkins Avenue that claim they saw two men grab a woman off the street and thrown into a white cargo van.
“The witnesses told us they heard a woman’s scream and when they went to the window, they saw two people shoving her inside the passenger-side door,” said Oneonta Police Chief Doug Brenner.
Muehl identified those men as Liberata-Garcie and Tavares. “They claimed she stole money from them,” he said. “They jumped out of the van with a metal pipe and a baseball bat, hit her in the leg and grabbed her.”
They then allegedly drove her to an ATM on Southside, where they forced her to withdraw $300.
State Troopers later spotted the van and alerted the Oneonta Police, who arrested all three men. “The victim was reluctant to prosecute because she’s afraid of retaliation,” said Brenner. “But because it’s a felony, we gave it to the prosecutor.”
All three were indicted on charges of second-degree kidnapping and first degree robbery, and remanded to the Otsego County Jail.