56-year-old Mario Perez-Roque doesnâ€™t take rejection too well. A co-worker of his spurned his advances, and as a result, she lived through something sheâ€™ll not soon forget.
The unnamed 36-year-old woman, a Cuban national who speaks no English, had been courted by Mario at their janitorial service job, but she simply wasnâ€™t interested. On November 6th, he planned on making her regret that decision.
That day, he kidnapped the woman from her New Orleans home and took her to his rear apartment in whatâ€™s commonly referred to as a shotgun home â€“ essentially two small apartments back-to-back or side-by-side â€“ and put a bag over her head, gagged her, and tied her to a chair.
At one point, she tells authorities, she heard two men whispering in Spanish about leaving the tiny abode.
She was eventually able to free one of her hands and immediately ripped the bag off of her head â€“ only to come face-to-face with a photograph of herself.
She got herself free the rest of the way and ran for her life.
The second suspect, who still hasnâ€™t been identified, took off after her. Lucky for her, a man named Gary Messina happened to be driving down the street.
He saw the man chasing her and knew something had to be wrong.
With his wife and son still in the car, he jumped out to â€˜try to stop the guy from pulling her backâ€™.
â€œAs soon as I jumped out of the car, he looked at me and he had her around the neck in a headlock and just wasn’t going to let her go,â€ he said.
Mr. Messina yelled that the police were on their way, and that did the trick. The man quickly fled.
When police arrived on the scene, the woman led them back to the place sheâ€™d been held.
They werenâ€™t quite prepared for what they found.
â€œWe found restraints. They’ve got false walls and everything else inside the house,â€ Kenner police Lt Brian McGregor said. â€œThat’s pretty much what it is, a house of horrors. Who wants to be restrained? Who wants to be tied up in somebody else’s house?â€
The home had hidden compartments, false doors, cameras behind two-way mirrors, and loose tiles under the bed that covered a small chamber equipped with restraints.
Authorities also found multiple videotapes and DVDs, but havenâ€™t said what deemed them â€˜items of interestâ€™.
Mario Perez-Roque was eventually tracked down and arrested late the same day in Metairie, Louisiana.
Heâ€™s being held without bond on charges of false imprisonment and kidnapping.
The second suspect is still at large.