Family held hostage, duct-taped and zip-tied in their Lehigh Acres home

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
A family held hostage in their Lehigh Acres home. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Neighbors are terrified after deputies say three people including a child were held hostage in their own home in Lehigh Acres. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office says the suspect used zip ties and duct-taped their mouths shut.

A neighbor that spoke with WINK News said that she, and the victims, know the suspect, Leo Feliz. he and the victims lived in the same house together.

One of the neighbors we spoke with said, “We were kind of freaked out because you know they are such great neighbors, what’s going on over there?”

That unanswered question is why the neighbor who spoke with WINK News did not want to be identified. She described what transpired as something from a nightmare.

The arrest report details how 43-year-old Feliz smashed through a window and chased two adults and a child back into the home. Then he zip-tied their hands, duct-taped their mouths and beat a woman with a shotgun.

The neighbor said, “There were no cars in the driveway so it really made you wonder you know, they are not home? What’s going on?”

Then, suddenly, a gun fired.

The report notes, that the bullet shot passed one of the victims and struck a bedframe. One victim, a woman, told deputies she truly believe Feliz would kill her.

The neighbor said, “What did happen over there? It must’ve been something crazy, the neighbor lost his mind.”

We were told that Feliz was a face seen in the area regularly, living with his wife and two children, trading food with other neighbors, waving to them every day and going to Fourth of July events with others in the neighborhood.

Those neighbors are now scared by the alleged abrupt and violent shift in his behavior. What were once food offerings have become prayers.

“We are praying for them, that they heal as a family,” one neighbor said.

As of Monday afternoon, Feliz faces multiple charges including kidnapping, aggravated assault, and assault with a deadly weapon. Neighbors said they haven’t seen anyone come home since this happened. They’re also sending their prayers to the family.

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