A Manhattan man was sentenced on Tuesday to 13 years in prison for kidnapping five people — including a 9-month-old baby — who were held at gunpoint during a botched home invasion robbery in Richmond Hill that turned into a hostage standoff in 2020.
Tex Ortiz, 38, of First Avenue, pleaded guilty on June 30 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gia Morris to kidnapping in the second degree.
His co-defendant Wilbert Wilson, 53, of Valentine Avenue in the Bronx, pleaded guilty to kidnapping in the second degree and related charges on July 21 and will be sentenced on Sept. 12.
According to the charges against Ortiz, on November 17, 2020, at approximately 8:40 p.m., Ortiz and Wilson pried open the back door of a residence on 125th Street in Richmond Hill. Four women and a baby were inside the home. Ortiz and Wilson zip-tied some of the hostages and held them at gunpoint. They demanded money from the mother and pistol-whipped her on the head, causing her to fall into furniture while she held her 9-month-old daughter.
One of the victims managed to call 911 and when police from the 102nd Precinct in Richmond Hill arrived on the scene, the young mother ran from the home clutching her baby daughter in her arms. The other victims were threatened by the defendants at gunpoint, according to the charges. A standoff ensued and after two hours. Ortiz and Wilson let two of the hostages go free. The remaining three victims, still held hostage, were threatened by the defendants at gunpoint. Ortiz and Wilson at one point used one of the victims as a human shield, forcing the woman to walk in front of them at gunpoint and yell to the police not to shoot.
The defendants surrendered to police after releasing the last hostage just after 2 a.m. Two guns were recovered at the crime scene.
“This defendant violated the sanctity of a family’s home, terrorizing them and endangering a baby,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “This sentence will hopefully provide a measure of closure for his victims.”
Justice Morris sentences Ortiz to a determinate term of 13 years in prison.