Bronx man faces life in prison for multi-state kidnapping, assault and arson rampage

A 41-year-old Bronx man faces life in prison for a violent multi-state crime spree in 2014, according to the Department of Justice
A 41-year-old Bronx man faces life in prison for a violent multi-state crime spree in 2014, according to the Department of Justice. Photo credit Getty Images

NEWARK, N.J. (1010 WINS) — A Bronx man has been convicted for engaging in a multi-state crime spree in which he kidnapped and sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend, assaulted a federal employee, set fire to a used car dealership and rammed multiple police vehicles before being arrested, the Justice Department said Friday.

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Luis Figueroa, armed with a shotgun, waited outside the Hazleton, Pennsylvania, apartment of his ex-girlfriend on the morning of June 6, 2014, according to court documents and trial evidence. When she left the apartment, Figueroa struck the victim in the face with the shotgun and said: "I told you I was going to kill you."

Figueroa, 41, then attacked both the ex-girlfriend and her sister, who, at the time, was eight months pregnant. Another family member took Figueroa’s and the ex-girlfriend’s young child into a bedroom to shield the child from the violence.

The pregnant woman fell down a flight of stairs while in a struggle with Figueroa, who then took a shotgun from the apartment and forced his ex-girlfriend into the backseat of a red SUV, the department said.

Prosecutors said Figueroa then drove the victim across state lines to New Jersey. He eventually stopped at the Kittatinny Point Visitor’s Center, which is located on federal property, and sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend.

His ex-girlfriend then convinced Figueroa to dispose of the gun. While doing so, the victim climbed into the driver’s seat of the red SUV and drove away to safety.

After Figueroa returned and noticed the car and the victim had fled, officials said he approached a National Park Service employee, and led the employee to a nearby storage room, where he slammed the victim’s head against a door and threatened to harm the victim if he did not hand over the keys to his car. The employee complied, and Figueroa fled the scene in the victim’s car.

He then traveled to Paterson, New Jersey, and went into a used car dealership run by someone with whom Figueroa had a business relationship. Figueroa asked for a portable gas canister from an employee, which he promptly filled at a local gas station before returning to the dealership and dousing the office in gasoline.

After a brief altercation with an employee, Figueroa lit a match and set the building on fire, engulfing the building in flames and putting himself on fire in the process. Figueroa then escaped in a different vehicle.

Figueroa was convicted of kidnapping, criminal sexual abuse, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and assaulting an employee of the United States. He had previously pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon and arson.

The kidnapping and the aggravated sexual abuse charges each carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 8.