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Gang members burn man with hot knife in torture case, police say

May 29, 2012 | 10:58 pm

Javier Francis and handgun allegedly used in the Pico Rivera torture case, authorities said.

Three reputed Pico Rivera gang members have been arrested in a kidnapping and torture case in which a victim was burned with a hot knife and had his fingers smashed with a gun, authorities said Tuesday night.

The male victim was held in a Pico Rivera garage for five days taped to a chair over a dispute about money he owed to one of the gang members, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. 

His ear was cut and the hot knife was used to a burn a four-letter word on his stomach, the department said.

The man's wife was also kidnapped with her husband on May 13. But she was allowed to leave to get $6,000 to pay for his release. She was also forced to sign over her vehicle to the suspected gang members, according to authorities.

Her husband escaped when he was put into a vehicle by his captors. 

Deputies arrested Xavier Barraza, 36, Alonso Eric Acuna, 32, and George Steven Karavalos, 33. All three were described in a statement as members of the Pico Rivera 13 street gang. A fourth suspect, Javier Francis, 49, was being sought by authorities.

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— Robert J. Lopez

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Photos: Javier Francis and gun allegedly used in the torture case. Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

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