Posted on: January 20, 2021, 09:16h.
Last updated on: January 20, 2021, 11:46h.
An Arizona gang member who posed as a police officer to abduct two women and rob them of their casino winnings was arrested last Friday, according to court records.
Isaac Castro Gonzalez, 38, of Phoenix, is currently being held without bond on charges that include kidnapping, armed robbery, and impersonating a police officer.
According to prosecutors, Gonzalez and another unnamed suspect were pictured on security cameras following the two victims from the Desert Diamond Casino near Glendale. That’s after one had won $300 at around 2 am on January 13.
As the women started for home in a BMW SUV, they were stopped by what they believed to be an unmarked police car with a blue flashing light. Another car blocked the women in.
According to the arrest report, the victims were forced from their vehicle and restrained with zip ties and handcuffs, then placed in the back seat of the BMW. One of the suspects held them down so they could not see where they were being driven.
The men then threatened to kill them if they refused to hand over their PIN numbers. Their cell phones and purses were also stolen. The women were released shortly before 5 am and were able to call 911. When police arrived, one of the victims still had zip ties on her hands.
Detectives were able to identify Gonzalez by the casino’s surveillance video. They also linked him to a Chevrolet Malibu, which is believed to be the vehicle used to impersonate a police car.
According to police, the suspect is a documented member of the Wet Back Power 31st Avenue and the Border Brothers gangs in Phoenix.
Gonzalez was already on probation for a weapons violation and was wanted on a warrant. He had been released by the Arizona Department of Corrections in September and failed to appear in court on January 13, the day of the kidnappings.
SWAT Team Arrest
When police arrived at Gonzalez’s home with an arrest warrant, the suspect resisted, barricading himself in, and a SWAT team had to be called.
During interviews, the suspect admitted being at the Desert Diamond on the night of the incident, and that he was driving the silver Chevrolet. But he claimed he went straight home from the casino.
Police also searched a hotel room the suspect had visited and found a purse matching the description of one stolen from one of the victims.
Jason Hudson, director of security for Desert Diamond, said the safety of guests was a top priority and the arrest exemplified the “strong working relationships we have built with neighboring jurisdictions, closely coordinating with each other to protect our guests and the public.”