BOSTON (CBS) – Victor Pena, the man charged with kidnapping Olivia Ambrose in Boston last weekend, made his first court appearance in the case Wednesday. Pena sobbed openly as he was ordered undergo a 20-day mental health evaluation.
Pena, 38, was arrested at his apartment in Charlestown where Ambrose was found with him Tuesday afternoon. She was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital and reunited with her family. She’s said to be in good health.
Pena was led into the courthouse Wednesday morning, but initially did not appear before the judge as a hearing got underway. Pena’s arraignment was put on hold while he was evaluated by a court clinician.
A short time later court was called back into session with a sobbing Pena present.
The clinician said Pena exhibited signs of psychosis and bizarre behavior, adding that some of it could have been exaggerated. The clinician ruled that Pena’s behavior warranted further evaluation.
He was ordered held without bail. Pena will undergo a 20-day evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital before he returns to court on February 11.
Ambrose was the target of a massive search after she was last seen by her sister and friends leaving Hennessy’s bar on Union Street near Quincy Market around 11 p.m. Saturday.
Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said Pena was seen on surveillance images from Congress Street with his arm around her a short time later.
“It’s obvious from the video surveillance that she did not go along willingly,” Gross said.
Surveillance cameras would last spot Pena and the woman near the Bunker Hill Housing Complex, not far from where detectives pinged her phone. They were found in Pena’s apartment there late Tuesday afternoon.
Police said they still don’t have a motive for the kidnapping and have not said if Pena threatened the woman.
According to a criminal complaint against Pena, Boston Police found he had installed a personal lock to his apartment door. Police knocked for an extended time, and as a maintenance crew was about to drill into the door, Pena opened it.
“The detectives could see the victim standing next to Pena crying with a horrified look on her face,” the complaint alleges.
When police attempted to place Pena in handcuffs, he “resisted violently” before being placed into custody.
While Ambrose was being brought to Mass General Hospital for treatment, she told a detective she was being held against her will by Pena. She added that Pena took her cell phone and refused to let her leave his apartment the entire time she was held there.
Pena has a criminal record, including an arrest at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island in July 2018, on charges of casino gambling cheating and obtaining money under false pretense. He has also had several restraining orders filed against him the last several years.
Detectives identified and cleared a second man who was seen on surveillance video from Congress Street near Pena and the woman. He turned himself in to detectives and is considered a witness, police said Thursday.