The Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse in Downtown Long Beach. File photo.
The Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse in Downtown Long Beach. File photo.

A 25-year-old man began hyperventilating in Long Beach Superior Court Wednesday as he and two co-defendants were sentenced to prison for participating in a marathon torture session of a former Cal State Long Beach student before taking him to a bank—where he was dripping blood—and trying to force him into withdrawing money, according to authorities.

Ryan Urban’s head lolled to the side before deputies moved him to a padded chair where he collapsed, forcing a short recess before Judge James Otto could sentence him to six years behind bars.

“I do know the consequence and I’m terribly sorry, and I’m so terrified about what I am about to face,” Urban said a few minutes earlier, during a tearful monologue.

“OK, Mr. Urban. It’s time to man up now. Stop the crying,” Otto said.

Urban is part of a trio that brutally beat, stripped naked and played Russian roulette with the 22-year-old victim in 2015, according to authorities.

He and the other defendants—Patrick Adams and Eric Riddle-Rios—previously admitted to taking part in the plot and pleaded no contest to reduced charges after striking a plea agreement with prosecutors. Adams—who led the torture, according to authorities—was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Riddle-Rios received six years.

What the three men did was “unforgivable and heinous,” the victim’s grandfather said in a letter authorities read aloud in court Wednesday. It left the victim with indescribable physical and psychological damage, according to the letter.

The ordeal started with a drug deal gone bad, according to Long Beach police Det. Fermin Gonzalez, who led the investigation.

He said the victim arrived at Adams’ home on Malta Street near the Traffic Circle to deliver an illegal substance around 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 21, 2015.

As soon as the victim walked in, Adams confronted him, although detectives still aren’t sure why, Gonzalez said.

When the victim started to leave, Adams pointed a gun at him, according to Gonzalez.

“That’s when the torture began,” he said.

Over the next 12 hours, the victim was beaten with a golf club, stripped down, tied to a chair with a phone cord and pistol whipped over and over, according to Gonzalez.

The victim said that at one point, Adams put a single bullet into a revolver, put the barrel in the victim’s mouth and pulled the trigger three times, according to Gonzalez.

Urban was Adams’ friend and had come down from Cal State Chico to console Adams, who’d recently lost a close friend in a car wreck, Gonzalez said.

“The main suspect is dealing with a death of a friend and takes it out on our victim—still never quite understood why,” the detective said.

Adams knew the victim, but only casually, from the party scene at Cal State Long Beach where they pledged the same fraternity, according to Gonzalez.

Adams eventually called in a third man, Riddle-Rios, according to police. Riddle-Rios took the victim’s car keys and debit card and started withdrawing cash from ATMs, according to Gonzalez.

When that wasn’t enough money, Urban and Adams took the victim to a bank, Gonzalez said.

Because the victim was obviously hurt, with open wounds dripping blood, the perpetrators tried to cover it up by saying he’d just been in a car crash and needed money to pay for his medical bills before going to the hospital, according to Gonzalez.

When bank employees were able to get the victim into the back of the bank, he told them he’d been kidnapped and needed help, police said.

Officers swarmed the bank and arrested Adams, according to authorities.

Within the next few days, police arrested Urban at his home in San Diego and Riddle-Rios while he was driving the victim’s car in Dana Point, police said.

On Wednesday, Urban, who was free on more than $2 million bond, walked into the courtroom crying as he hugged family members.

When Otto gave him an opportunity to speak before the sentencing, Urban apologized and said he took part in what happened only because he was scared and not allowed to leave.

“This is all stuff I wish I could’ve said in a police report, but nobody wanted to ever hear from me,” he said.

Urban said his biggest regret was not calling 911.

Detectives on the case said there were moments Urban was alone with the victim and could’ve tried to get help.

There’s also security camera video of Urban driving away from the bank as officers closed in, they said.

Adams did not say anything at the sentencing. When given a chance to speak, Riddle-Rios said the experience has helped him “find the Lord” and turn his life around.

“I’m just thankful for the whole situation at the end of the day,” he said.

Jeremiah Dobruck is managing editor of the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @jeremiahdobruck on Twitter.