Teens arrested in kidnapping of federal agent in Orlando

18-year-old, 16-year-old and 15-year-old suspects charged in carjacking near I-Drive

Local 6 News at 5:30p
Local 6 News at 5:30p

ORLANDO, Fla. – An 18-year-old man was arrested late Thursday night in connection with the kidnapping of a federal law enforcement agent at an Orlando hotel.

[WATCH: Sheriff Demings speaks at news conference]

Dante Askins was arrested on charges of armed robbery, armed carjacking and aggravated battery.

"We have successfully identified one subject who participated in the crime and arrested him last night in a stolen car along International Drive and Hawaiian Court," the Orange County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.  "We are working to apprehend the other outstanding suspects."

Deputies said they found Askins in a stolen car on Thursday near I-Drive, where he was arrested and admitted to carjacking and kidnapping the federal officer.

Askins named his accomplices, according to deputies, as 15-year-old Montez Taylor, the accused gunman, and 16-year-old Levanti Redding. A fourth culprit has not been arrested, but deputies say they know who the person is.

"These are high school students, that's the other sad thing, that we're talking about 15 and 16 years old, caught up with two 18-year-olds," said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings. "These teenagers are playing a very deadly game."

The incident began early Thursday at a hotel on Universal Boulevard, where the officer, Armando Alaniz, was preparing his car for a morning trip, Orange County deputies said.

Four men forced 44-year-old Alaniz, who was visiting from Texas with his family, into his car at gunpoint and made him drive them around, deputies said.

Alaniz was also zip-tied and duct-taped, pistol-whipped and robbed, according to deputies, who said Alaniz needed several stitches after the attack.

Deputies said Alaniz's wife realized that he had been gone for too long and called 911 and On Star, which called the vehicle. The culprits then ditched the vehicle and Alaniz was able to get away. 

His car was found abandoned in a neighborhood near Cypress Parkway, about 10 miles from the hotel.

Deputies said On Star helped them find Alaniz, who was taken to a hospital for treatment and evaluation.

Alaniz also told deputies that he heard the teens talking about carjacking someone else. Deputies said they were likely responsible for other crimes in the tourist area.