Leonard Benitez, a Florida man, has been charged with holding his elderly neighbors hostage after he pulled out a gun and held them against their will.
After Benitez, 45, asked to borrow a cup of salt from Louis and Irene Rosen in their Tamarac, Florida home, he then demanded that the 99-year-old and his 70-year-old wife pay him $50,000.
According to Gina Carter, a spokeswoman for the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the 45-year-old pistol whipped Louis in the head.
The couple was sitting on the back porch when Broward Sheriff’s detectives say Leonard Benitez approached them, saying he was staying at a home nearby and asked for salt to cook with. After the Rosens obliged, Benitez began acting erratically, pulled out a gun and a knife and demanded $50,000.
The Rosens said they feared for their lives. The couple didn’t want to elaborate on all of what transpired, but after hours of being held hostage, Irene, who is much more mobile than her husband, was able to run out of the house to get help. Louis was still inside.
At some point, Louis was pistol-whipped in the head. Then, Benitez ran back a few doors down to where he was staying. The 99-year-old was left with staples in his head, but alive.
A SWAT team showed up to take Benitez into custody.
On Sunday, July 23, a Broward Sheriff’s Office judge instructed Benitez to stay away from the Rosen family.
He was arrested on charges of home invasion, battery, false imprisonment, and kidnapping and is being held without bond in jail.