Fugitive homicide suspect from Puerto Rico was hiding in the closet

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — The man on the run from Puerto Rico and spotted two weeks ago in downtown Providence was finally arrested Wednesday — in a closet.

Authorities had been watching a home in Fall River, and Wednesday afternoon, police said they executed a search warrant at the apartment in the 100 block of Lonsdale Street. Once finding Pedro Torres in his hiding place, they took him into custody without incident.

“He came out in just boxers and sandals,” said witness Tammara Zimmerman. “The cops had him detained. He didn’t put up a fight. He looked like he knew it was coming. He just didn’t know when.”

Friday, he was arraigned at the Fall River Justice Center. A judge ordered him held without bail; Torres is due back in court for a dangerousness hearing on September 8.

Torres’s charges in Puerto Rico include three counts of homicide. Fall River Maj. Joseph Philbin told Eyewitness News on Thursday Torres entered a restaurant in 2014 and opened fire, killing three people. He was visiting his girlfriend and baby daughter in Rhode Island last year when police arrested him on a warrant.

In addition to the Puerto Rico and fugitive-related charges, Torres is likely to be charged with drug and weapons offenses; after obtaining a second search warrant, Fall River officers found a locked box on a shelf in the bedroom containing two handguns — a .40-caliber Taurus PT 140, and a .45-caliber Smith and Wesson 457, and loaded magazines of ammunition. Elsewhere in the apartment was found a fabric bag with nine .357 magnum rounds, and “items associated with the distribution of drugs,” police said in a news release, as well as a small bag of marijuana, $265 in cash and two Massachusetts license plates.

Eyewitness News spoke with prosecutors in Puerto Rico on Friday. They say they want Torres in active homicide and weapons cases. They say a judge didn’t find probable cause in the homicide case and his bail was reduced. They say Torres posted his bail through a bondsman and left Puerto Rico. According to prosecutors, Torres leaving the area justified a failure to appear. They later appealed, probable cause was found and all charges were back on, they said.

The investigation continues.

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