Skip to main content

Man imprisoned and tortured 2 women in his home, then called 911 when they escaped claiming they were burglars: Sheriff

Gilberto Murillo Puga Jr. (Riverside County Sheriff's Office)

Gilberto Murillo Puga Jr. (Riverside County Sheriff’s Office)

A 53-year-old convicted felon in California was arrested this week for allegedly holding two women inside his home against their will, where he repeatedly tortured and assaulted them before they could escape and call for help.

Gilberto Murillo Puga Jr. was taken into custody on Monday and charged with multiple felonies, including two counts each of false imprisonment and assault with a stun gun, as well as one count each of torture and being a felon in possession of a firearm, jail records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

According to a press release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, deputies assigned to the Moreno Valley station responded to a 911 call at about 9:22 a.m. on Sunday, May 14, at a residence in the 26000 block of Prairie Dog Lane. Puga told the emergency dispatcher that two women were burglarizing his home.

While deputies were headed to Puga’s home, dispatch received a second call about two women “at Puga’s residence screaming for help,” the sheriff’s office said.

“Upon arrival, deputies located the two females walking away from Puga’s residence,” the affidavit states. “Puga was uncooperative with deputies and left the location. The investigation revealed that the two females had not burglarized Puga’s residence but had been locked in Puga’s residence, held against their will, and tortured.”

The names of the women were not disclosed. Authorities have not said whether the victims and Puga knew each other or how they wound up in his home. The sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to an email from Law&Crime.

Authorities on Monday obtained a warrant for Puga’s arrest. Officers with the Hemet Police Department located Puga driving an Audi SUV in Hemet and took him into custody.

Puga’s bond was set at $1 million, according to the sheriff’s office.

In an interview with Los Angeles ABC affiliate KABC, one of Puga’s neighbors, identified only as “Eli,” said it was not the first time Puga had shown signs of dangerous behavior.

“He broke into my backyard, threatened to shoot me, and said he was going to come back and shoot me,” Eli told the station.

Another neighbor, identified as “Sammy,” told KABC that Puga broke into his house last year.

“He broke into my house, and he was letting all my birds out and trying to get in my house and trying to break the window,” Sammy said.

Puga’s cousin, Mark Glasser,  also spoke with the station and said that Puga is mentally unwell and likely should not have been released from prison where he was receiving treatment.

“Pay more attention to the mental state of these people they’re kicking back out on the streets. That, you know, somebody should come to talk to the family and ask, ‘What do you think about this guy? Should he be back on the streets?'” Glasser told the station.

Puga was previously convicted of vehicular theft, assaulting a police officer, and driving under the influence, KABC reported.

Join the discussion 

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime:

Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.