Nassau police rescued a man from an alleged murder plot Sunday when they stopped a car with the victim and three people accused of robbing and kidnapping him after luring him to a Westbury motel, court documents said.
The court papers said the defendants, two men and a 16-year-old girl, planned to kill the man before they were stopped Saturday evening by Nassau cops for a traffic violation. The defendants are allegedly members of MS-13, prosecutors said in court.
The girl lured the victim, a 48-year-old man not identified in the papers, into a room at the Edgewood Motel under the guise of engaging in sex. After spending a short time with the victim, the girl opened the door and let the two other defendants — Tyler Salmeron, 19, of New Cassel, and Yonathan Hernandez, 23, of Hempstead — into the room.
Hernandez attempted to stab the victim and Salmeron stuck his left shoulder with a machete before demanding money, the papers said. The victim complied, turning over about $300 in cash as well has his phone, wallet and car keys. The defendants then forced him into the backseat of his 2005 Ford F-150. Hernandez drove the victim and his co-defendants to a Chase Bank ATM and forced him to give them his bank card and personal identification number.
“The three defendants then began transporting the victim to an unknown destination after advising him … they intended to kill him because he had no money and he had seen their faces,” the court paper said.
Police officers were conducting an investigation about 6:45 p.m. Saturday at the Edgewood Motel when they watched the Ford F-150 leave the parking lot and drive west on Jericho Turnpike. The officers activated their emergency lights and conducted a traffic stop after the F-150 failed to come to a complete stop near the intersection of Cambridge and Oxford streets, according to a Nassau police news release.
One of the occupants of the truck — the victim — appeared to be in distress, police said. The four were ordered out of the vehicle. Salmeron pulled a machete from his shorts as he attempted to flee on foot. Salmeron dropped the machete but violently resisted as officers attempted to place him under arrest, police said.
Hernandez and the female juvenile were both placed in custody without further incident, police said. Hernandez had a box cutter and the girl had a switchblade knife when they were arrested, according to the court documents.
Hernandez was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree kidnapping, second-degree menacing, fourth-degree conspiracy, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and a vehicle infraction. Nassau County Judge William Hohauser ordered Hernandez held in lieu of $250,000 bond, $100,000 cash or $500,000 partially secured bond at an arraignment in Hempstead on Sunday.
Salmeron was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree kidnapping, second-degree menacing, fourth-degree conspiracy, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest. Hohauser ordered him held in lieu of $500,000 bond, $200,000 cash or $1 million partially secured bond.
Hernandez and Salmeron were represented by the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, which did not return a request for comment.
The 16-year-old girl was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree kidnapping, fourth-degree conspiracy and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. She also had an active warrant as a person in need of supervision. The girl was ordered held on $200,00 bond, $100,000 cash or $500,000 partially secured bond. Her attorney, Christopher Devane of Mineola, declined to comment.
The three defendants are scheduled to return to court on Wednesday.