SPRING HILL — A 24-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman were arrested in Hudson on Tuesday on Hernando County warrants charging them with armed kidnapping.
Kevin Downey and Desiree Amber Sword, both of 16320 East Road, Hudson, admitted to authorities that they forced a 14-year-old boy and his two dogs into their vehicle on the night of Sept. 1 in an effort to recover money that they said had been stolen from them earlier by the teen's uncle.
The boy's uncle, Miguel Angel Pizarro Jr., of Blaine Road in Spring Hill, was also taken into custody on charges of robbery by sudden snatching and child abuse.
According to the arrest report, the teen was out walking two of the family's dogs on Horizon Drive in Spring Hill about 8 p.m. Sept. 1. The boy told detectives that his uncle, Pizarro, was riding a bike next to him.
At some point during the walk, Pizarro rode off to take a phone call and met with Sword and Downey in front of a home on Horizon Drive, authorities said. The boy said he saw Pizarro reach into the vehicle, take money from Sword and ride off on his bike.
Sword and Downey then approached the teen in their vehicle and threatened to shoot him if he didn't get inside, according to the report.
The boy said Sword and Downey held him against his will for about 40 minutes while they had a number of phone conversations with Pizarro.
Eventually, the teen said, Sword and Downey reached an agreement with his uncle, and the boy was released from the vehicle with the larger dog. Sword and Downey allegedly kept the smaller dog and the boy's cell phone as an "insurance policy" until the teen was able to get the money from Pizarro.
According to the report, the boy later met with Sword and Downey again to return the money, and they gave him his dog and cell phone.
The boy's mother contacted the Sheriff's Office after finding out about the ordeal the next day.
Sword and Downey were taken into custody Tuesday and booked into the Pasco County Jail. They told authorities they had planned to buy prescription pills from Pizarro. When Pizarro took their money, they said, they kidnapped his nephew as collateral.
Sword and Downey were both taken to the Hernando County Jail on Wednesday afternoon. They each remained behind bars in lieu of $30,000 bail. Pizarro was being held in lieu of $5,000 bail.
Joel Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 754-6120.