A Dorchester man was arraigned last week on charges he kidnapped a man at gunpoint after firing shots outside Las Palmas Restaurant on Central Avenue.
Roberto Ortiz, 19, was arraigned Friday in Chelsea District Court on charges of armed kidnapping, armed assault with intent to murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, discharging a firearm with 500 feet of a building, and vandalism.
Assistant District Attorney Philip Cheng requested that Ortiz be held on $500,000 bail and that he be ordered to stay away and have no contact with victims and witnesses in the case in the event he is to be released on bail. Judge Benjamin Barnes imposed bail of $19,000 and allowed a request by prosecutors for a protective order preventing the defendant from obtaining identifying information for victims and witnesses.
Cheng told the court that Chelsea Police were dispatched to Las Palma Restaurant on Central Avenue shortly before 1:20 a.m. Friday for a disturbance. As officers approached the area, they heard two gunshots and observed a large group of people in the middle of the street; many told officers they had witnessed a man enter a victim’s car and force him to drive away at gunpoint. Witnesses provided police with a description of the blue BMW and of the gunman, which was dispatched to additional officers.
State Police observed the vehicle in the area of Pearl and Williams streets in Chelsea and attempted to initiate a stop. The vehicle, however, did not pull over until it was on the Meridian Street Bridge in East Boston. The trooper observed an object thrown from the vehicle while it was on the bridge before coming to a stop. Additional officers from the Boston and Chelsea police departments assisted at the scene, and Ortiz was placed under arrest.
The driver told police that he fled to his vehicle to escape the disturbance at the restaurant, but a man later identified as Ortiz entered the vehicle, threatened the man’s life, and forced him at gunpoint to drive from the scene. Ortiz allegedly threatened the victim again when he attempted to stop the car for State Police, prosecutors said.
Additional Chelsea Police officers identified the driver and passenger of a second vehicle that sustained two bullet holes in the incident. One of the victims was transported to Meridian Street and positively identified Ortiz as the man seen with a firearm at the location where shots were fired.
Ortiz is represented by Francisco Napolitano. He returns to court May 15.