Man in shackles claims he'd been held captive at southwest Houston home
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Authorities are investigating a human smuggling operation after a Honduran native in shackles claimed he had escaped from a southwest Houston home where he and several other people were being held captive.
According to HPD, a neighbor called police around 1:45pm Wednesday after seeing a man with shackles around his feet running down the street. When police arrived at the scene, the man told them he had been held against his will at a nearby home in the 11000 block of Bexley.
The 30-year-old man claimed he and others were being kept in a pitch-black room for six days.
"He was probably terrified, maybe thinking that he was going to get killed for something," neighbor David Losoya said.
A SWAT team surrounded the home but after they went in, they found no one inside. However, police did find a rifle and machete, as well as barriers inside the home that would make it hard for someone to get out.
"I know he looked relieved. When he got out he was like, one of the guys said the he was saying like thanking God, at lease I'm free," Losoya said.
The man told authorities that was the second home at which he'd been held captive in the last 10 days. The man is from Honduras and claims the suspects demanded more cash from his family in order to release him. He described his captors only as a male in his late teens and female.
"I saw them a few times come and go, but it was always get out of their car, go in, close the door and that's it," neighbor Lori Perales said.
Houston police are turning the investigation over to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The man was taken for a medical evaluation.
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