NYPD detective Ondre Johnson, a 17-year veteran who works in the Brooklyn North Gang Unit, has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of an investigation into a failed kidnapping and ransom attempt. On Friday afternoon investigators found a man gagged and bound to a chair with zip-ties in the garage next to Johnson's house in Springfield Gardens, Queens. The victim, 25-year-old victim Brian Karikari, was abducted on the street early Friday.
Johnson denies any knowledge of the kidnapping and is claiming he never even uses the garage. So far, blame is falling on the shoulders of his cousin, Hakeem Clark, who rents half the house from Johnson. Clark and three alleged accomplices—James Gayle, Alfredo Haughton, and James Hutson—were all arrested on a variety of charges. Police sources tell the Post that Hutson pulled a gun on Karikari in front of his Queens home and said, “Don’t try anything funny or I’ll shoot you." Karikari was then brought to Johnson's garage, where things proceeded to get stupid.
According to the Daily News, "one of the kidnappers then called one of the victim’s relatives, demanding $75,000 — but the relative recognized the kidnapper’s voice." And according to the Times, investigators found Karikari "after tracing a ransom demand made from a telephone being used at Mr. Johnson’s home." Reports that the kidnappers left a trail of donut crumbs leading to the garage could not be confirmed.
Investigators also found a safe containing materials to make fake credit cards, including printing presses and unmarked plastic cards. The News reports that the four alleged kidnappers all have prior records that include weapons charges and drug arrests. As for Detective Johnson, a source tells the News, "He’s still not completely off the hook. Something is not right here. They’re going to try to find out what he was doing there and how he knows these guys."