Arrests made in torture, home invasion

Top row from left to right: Norberto Serna, Juan Fonseca and

When three male suspects clad in ski masks broke into the home
of Gary Wise, restrained him, tortured him and beat him to near
death, Wise had no idea one of his wrongdoers was a neighbor. Full
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When three male suspects clad in ski masks broke into the home of Gary Wise, restrained him, tortured him and beat him to near death, Wise had no idea one of his alleged wrongdoers was a neighbor.

Sgt. Rick Sung with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said out of the six suspects arrested Tuesday in the February incident that occurred at Wise’s home on the 1000 block of Rucker Avenue, one of them “is actually the victim’s neighbor.”

According to police reports, Wise, 59, arrived at his home at about 9 p.m. Feb. 6 when three male suspects ambushed him. The suspects then tied him up and tortured him, pouring chemical substances over his body and face and beating him with pool cues until he lost consciousness.

The suspects made off with Wise’s personal collections including various guns, stamps, coins and playing cards according to Sung. They also stole the victim’s pickup truck in the area of Highways 9 and 35 outside of the City of Saratoga, Sung said.

After losing consciousness the first time, Wise was beaten again after he came to, Sung said.

“The victim was forced to give away the combination to the safe. That’s when they took the stuff and left in the victim’s truck,” he said.

The string of sweeping arrests began at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, were made at various times, five different locations and carried on throughout the day, according to Sung. Overall he said the entire operation turned into a 48-hour affair, lasting well into Wednesday as suspects were booked and interviewed one by one.

Gilroy resident Juvenal Reyes, 62, has been arrested on $500,000 bail and charged with “conspiracy, attempted murder and torture along with 21-year-old Juan Fonseca of an unknown address.

San Jose resident Ernesto Gonzalez, 25, was arrested on the same charges without bail along with 41-year-old Norberto Serna of an unknown address.

San Jose resident Danny Rivera, 22, was also arrested on $150,000 bail and charged with possession of stolen property.

One juvenile, whose name was not released, was also arrested according to Sung, who confirmed the charges will go to the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office.

“I’m glad that justice has been served. I’m glad these guys were taken off the street. These suspects really did pose a threat to our community,” said Sung, who lauded the efforts of sheriff’s deputies, homicide robbery detectives and assistance from allied agencies.

In February, a neighbor told the Dispatch that Wise had a vast collection of “shiny and beautiful” guns he purchased “from all over” which may have totaled $2 million.

Sung said this was not accurate Thursday, and that the personal items stolen from Wise were not in the million-dollar range.

After he was beaten and robbed, seven hours passed until Wise was able to free himself and run to his neighbor’s house to report the incident to authorities.

When Wise’s neighbor, a woman named Rose who would only give her first name, was jarred awake at about 5 a.m. the following morning by loud knocking, she opened the back door to see Wise standing on her porch; his head covered in blood and his clothes hanging loosely from his body.

“He said, “I’ve been beat up,’ ” she told the Dispatch on Feb. 7.

Sung said there were no breaking leads or hot tips that ultimately cracked the case; “just that good, old-style, hard detective work” that took detectives throughout the Bay Area.

As for the initial count of three suspects branching into six, a person doesn’t necessarily have to be at the scene of the incident to be charged, Sung explained. Having participation such as conspiracy, providing a method of transportation or just putting in a phone call can be incriminating, he said.

“In any way that if you assisted other members to commit that type of heinous crime – then you can be charged as such.”

Rose, who told the Dispatch in February Wise has lived at his home on Rucker Avenue for about five years, said Wise told her he did not know who the men were.

“He’s a kind-hearted man,” she said in February.

Wise was transported to a local hospital and underwent surgery for life-threatening injuries, according to Sung.

As for Wise’s current condition, Sung did not have any additional updates.

Anyone with information regarding this case or the whereabouts of the stolen property can contact detective Sgt. Julian Quinonez or detective Sgt. Ryan Elder at 808-4500. During nonbusiness hours, call 808-4400. Those who wish to stay anonymous can call the Sheriff’s Tip Line at 808-4431.

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