By Mary O’KEEFE
Two people from La Cañada were among five that were arrested by Glendale police over an apparent dispute concerning a loan modification that escalated into torture and false imprisonment.
Mary Ann Parmelee, 51, and Daniel Weston, 52, both from La Cañada, along with Mario Gonzales, 47, from Glendale,
Marissa Parker, 49, from Sylmar and Canez Gustavo, 36, from Los Angeles have been charged with two counts each of torture, false imprisonment by violence and second-degree robbery. Weston and Canez allegedly used a handgun during the attack and Gonzales had an added charge of possession of a deadly weapon.
Parmelee is a Realtor and had worked with Gonzales and Parker to refer their clients to the loan modification business run by victims Lamond Dean and Luis Garcia.
“They had a prior business relationship with the victims,” said Shirara
Davila-Morales, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.
Weston and Parmelee live together in a La Cañada residence that was in danger of foreclosure. They allegedly turned to
Dean and Garcia to assist them in their attempt to save their home. For some apparent reason the couple did not feel their loan was being handled in their best interest and wanted their money back.
“Allegedly Weston, Parmelee and Parker set up a meeting with the victims,” Davila-Morales said. They, along with Gonzales and Parker, went to the victims’ place of business in the 400 block of S. Verdugo Road in Glendale.
“Then something went wrong. The [victims] were assaulted, they were beaten,”said Sgt. Tom Lorenz. Authorities have not stated how long the two were tortured and held. “The victims were released. They separately called [the police],” Lorenz said.
One victim had made it to a hospital, the other was still at his office.
“We responded to the location and within 48 hours we had [the suspects] in custody,” Lorenz said. “Weston and Canez allegedly carried out the attack in the presence of the other defendants,” Davila- Morales said.
In addition to false imprisonment the five are charged with torture “with the intent to cause cruel and extreme pain and suffering for the purpose of revenge, extortion, persuasion and for a sadistic purpose, inflict great bodily injury,” according to court documents.
The victims were also allegedly robbed of their loan paperwork and personal belongings.
Parmelee, Parker and Gonzales were arraigned last week and pleaded not guilty to all charges. Weston and Canez pleaded not guilty at their arraignment on Monday. The preliminary trial is scheduled on Nov. 4 for all five defendants.