Torture victim in Monday's home invasion arrested by St. Petersburg police

ST. PETERSBURG — The man who was tortured by armed men who held his family hostage on Monday was arrested by police on drug charges on Tuesday.

Michael Eugene Wells, 32, his girlfriend Cheryl Weaver, 32, and their two young children were held at gunpoint for up to five hours by three masked men on Monday, police said.

The men were looking for narcotics, police said, and used a hot iron to try and elicit information from the father.

When he broke through a window to escape, police said, the men opened fire on him, shooting him once in the hip. The mother and her children were unharmed, police said.

Wells was in Bayfront Medical Center being treated for non-life threatening injuries when police placed him under arrest Tuesday on a charge of possession of cocaine.

Police said they found the drugs in his home at 3998 53rd Ave. S while investigating the home invasion.

The family was taken hostage around 8 a.m. and Wells escaped around 1 p.m. Police on Tuesday also revealed new details about how the armed men made their getaway: they drove off in Wells' black 2007 Lexus RX300.

The SUV was later found around 7 p.m. in the parking lot of Boca Ciega Town Homes at 2500 37th St. S, police said.

But the victim isn't getting his vehicle back. St. Petersburg police said they seized the Lexus along with three other vehicles and a motorcycle in connection with the narcotics investigation of Wells.

Wells is still in the hospital but is no longer in police custody. He posted a $5,000 bond.

No arrests have been made in the home invasion case.

Check tampabay.com for more updates.

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St. Petersburg police ask anyone with information about Monday's home invasion incident to call them at (727) 893-7780. Anonymous tipsters can call (727) 892-5000 or send a text to (727) 420-8911.

Torture victim in Monday's home invasion arrested by St. Petersburg police 10/05/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 1:40pm]

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