Sterling PD assists Shelby officers in arrest of suspect in violent abduction

Three of 4 suspects still at large, police say

By: Eric Czarnik | C&G Newspapers | Published October 25, 2023




SHELBY TOWNSHIP/STERLING HEIGHTS — Police from Shelby Township and Sterling Heights are being congratulated for their recent work leading to the Oct. 23 arrest of a suspect who allegedly violently abducted a man while outside a Shelby Township gym. 

According to Shelby Township police, four armed and masked men allegedly abducted a 24-year-old man during the evening of Oct. 23 in the parking lot of Life Time Fitness, 14843 Lakeside Blvd. N.

According to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, the victim was carjacked at gunpoint, restrained in his vehicle and tortured. The suspects also allegedly took him to his home and then went inside it, prosecutors said. 

As part of the investigation, Shelby Township police reportedly asked Sterling Heights police to check a local home. Sterling Heights police said they found a suspect vehicle, a black GMC pickup truck, along Dearing Drive, in the area near 15 Mile Road between Van Dyke Avenue and Dodge Park Road. 

According to Shelby Township police, the truck was parked in a driveway, and someone was inside it. The Sterling Heights Police Department said it briefly went after the fleeing truck until it crashed in the vicinity of 15 Mile and Maple Lane Drive. 

The Sterling Heights Police Department said its officers arrested one male suspect who allegedly tried to flee and then transported him to the Macomb County Jail. According to an email from Sterling Heights Police Lt. Mario Bastianelli, officers found a loaded rifle in the truck and also discovered the victim “tied up with minor injuries.” 

On Oct. 25, Shelby Township police Sgt. Mark Benedettini provided additional information in a press release. It identified the arrestee as Angel Antonio Andujar-Ruiz, 33, from Tampa, Florida.

“He has an extensive violent criminal history out of Florida, with at least one conviction of Assault with Intent to Murder,” the press release states. “It is believed he came to Michigan with only the intent of carrying out this violent crime.”

Shelby Township police said that the incident does not appear to be random.

During an Oct. 25 arraignment before Judge Douglas Shepherd in Shelby Township 41-A District Court, Andujar-Ruiz was charged with three counts of weapons felony firearm as well as one count each of carjacking, conspiracy to commit carjacking, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, torture, unlawful imprisonment, conspiracy to commit unlawful imprisonment, first-degree home invasion, and conspiracy to commit first-degree home invasion.  

According to Macomb County prosecutors, several of the charges — including carjacking, armed robbery and torture — are felonies that can bring a life sentence if found guilty

Shepherd denied the defendant bond. The MiCOURT database says Andujar-Ruiz is expected to appear back in court on Nov. 7 for a probable cause conference and then on Nov. 13 for a preliminary examination. No attorney was listed for Andujar-Ruiz at press time. 

Shelby Township police added that the investigation is “extremely complex” and involves multiple search warrants. Shelby Township Police Chief Robert Shelide thanked Shelby Township Police Detective Lt. Terry Hogan and his team for their work on the case, as well as several law enforcement agencies for their help. Those agencies included the Sterling Heights, Clinton Township and Roseville police departments, as well as the FBI, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

“Our flawed justice system once again released a career violent criminal which offered him the opportunity to continue these heinous crimes,” Shelide said in a prepared statement. “This was preventable.”

In a prepared statement, Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido also thanked the Shelby Township and Sterling Heights police departments for their work.

“My office is dedicated to delivering justice for the victim and holding the suspect accountable for his actions,” Lucido added.

Shelby Township police said they are still looking for three more suspects who reportedly had fled. Anyone who has more information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Shelby Township Police Department by calling (586) 731-2121.