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Angry Victims Hold Surprise Party for Alleged Suspects

April 25, 1992

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) _ The victims of a string of burglaries lured the suspects to a fake party for some vigilante justice, police say.

Now the victims are facing charges.

Donato Mastrantoni and his wife, Joanne, who own a chain of Italian restaurants in the Orlando area, decided to fight back after several recent burglaries at their home.

According to police, one of the young men who plotted the robberies had a falling out with the others and told Mastrantoni who his buddies were.

Mastrantoni set up a fake party Sunday, and when the suspects arrived, he leaped out of a closet swinging a baseball bat, police said, while his wife and a friend joined in.

″In my 18 years, I’ve never seen anything like this,″ said Sgt. Ron Corlew of the Orange County sheriff’s office. ″This is one I’m going to make notes on and tell the grandkids about.″

The police report says one suspect had a leg broken, another was threatened with battery acid, and a third had a gun stuck in his mouth.

After nearly three hours, the couple released the suspects, who called police because they were afraid of further beatings, officials said.

The suspects were charged with one count each of armed robbery. And the Mastrantonis and their friend face multiple charges, includig aggravated battery.

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