Man held without bail on charges he took neighbors hostage in Tamarac

Judge tells Leonard Benitez to stay away from victims

FORT LAUDERDALE – Leonard Benitez appeared before a Broward County judge Sunday morning, and is being held without bail, after being charged with holding his neighbors hostage Friday night.

The 45-year-old Tamarac man had gone to the home of Louis and Irene Rosen and asked for a cup of salt – yes, salt.

He then pulled out a gun and knife on his neighbors, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said. Benitez then allegedly  told his neighbors that he wanted $50,000 and ordered them to give him their banking information.

"I'm not a gun person," Irene Rosen said. "I've never been around guns and to sit there and have somebody point a gun."

Irene Rosen said after several hours she was able to escape, which meant leaving Louis Rosen alone with Benitez.

"That was the only time I was frantic. I was all the way down the block and I was worried about him," Irene Rosen said.

At some point, Benitez pistol -whipped Louis Rosen, deputies said.

Benitez then fled from the home, but was soon taken into custody by SWAT members. 

He was arrested on charges that include home invasion, battery, false imprisonment of an adult and kidnapping.

Louis Rosen was taken to an area hospital where he was treated.

In court Sunday, Benitez was silent as the judge warned him to stay away from the Rosen family.




About the Author:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.