I really don't intend to just write about the scary, horrible, crime related things that happen in Rio, and do not want anyone to get the wrong idea - living in Rio can be quite the fun adventure, if you read more of this blog, you will see that I feel very passionately about this. However it is not fair to only share one side of this very complicated city. The incident I am about to tell you about has really shaken people up here.
So today it's necessary to do two scary posts in a row, because two scary things have happened! It's just the way it goes.
I am a bit late to write about this, but I am writing about it nonetheless. Last Tuesday night, a couple had dinner at Pomodorino, a favorite restaurant of mine on the Lagoa. It's the "little yellow house" restaurant I've written up in the past. From what I could gather after reading several articles from different new sources, they were getting into their car at about 1 am, when another vehicle pulled up. It does not sound like they used the valet service, rather that it was parked outside the restaurant. They thought it was someone they knew. Instead, it was a group of 4 carjackers, 2 of them armed. They got out of the vehicle in an attempt to hand it over, but were forced back into the car, he was headbutted, they had a gun to her neck, they were robbed, told that they would be killed, driven to Sao Conrado, and thrown over the cliff/into the wall down 10 meters near the VIP motel for those who are familiar, and left for dead. She held on to some rocks, he luckily got stuck in the branches of a tree, but they both lived. They yelled for help and were rescued by police.
The police located the suspects in Leblon and began pursuing them, they led them to an entrance of Rocinha and fled on foot.
Here is an interesting portion of the story - it has been written that traffickers lend weapons to such individuals as these carjackers, in exchange for a cut of what is stolen. In this case, once it was known that the police knew the assailants were in Rocinha, supposedly the traffickers beat and subsequently turned in the suspects to the police in order to get the police out of Rocinha so that "business" could continue as usual.
At the time of arrest on Wednesday night, three of the suspects had the stolen documents, credit cards and jewelry from the victims. The fourth suspect was arrested in the Miguel Couto Hospital, where he was being treated for injuries sustained by firearms.
These men are also suspected of having committed four other similar robberies in 2009, three of the four on that same Tuesday evening.