Miami authorities arrested a Florida man who has been accused of abducting a young boy before sexually assaulting him and shooting him in the face.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Miami-Dade police said the incident took place between 2 a.m. and 3:30 am Saturday in northwestern Miami. The suspect was described as a tall Hispanic man with long, curly hair. He appeared to be in his 30s or 40s, police said, and was driving a black 4-door sedan.
“The subject forced the victim inside the vehicle and drove him to the area of NW 45 Street & NW 31st Avenue, where he sexually assaulted and shot the minor. The victim was then forced out of the vehicle and the subject fled,” police said.
News 10 reports that a witness named Johnny said he heard the boy screaming. The witness helped the boy walk to the Foodland Market at Northwest 47th Street and 37th Avenue, where they contacted 911.
“I bring him to the store so they can call the police for him,” Johnny said. “He was conscious, then he fell on the sidewalk and said he had been shot.”
Security footage from a local gas station captured the moment the child collapsed. First responders rushed him to the Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, where he remains in critical condition.
Authorities arrested 43-year-old Aliex Santiesteban and charged him with sexual battery with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, and attempted murder. Authorities said police work, community tips, and forensics evidence led them to the suspect.
According to police, the boy snuck out of his house on Saturday to meet a friend, ABC 6 reports. As the boy was walking close to Northwest 43rd Terrace and 30th Avenue, Santiesteban allegedly pulled up in a black sedan and forced the victim into the car.
Police said Santiesteban then drove to Northwest 45th Street and 31st Avenue and pulled over, where he sexually assaulted the victim in the back seat of the car.
Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said that the suspect activated the child locks so that the victim couldn’t get out of the car. The boy eventually fought the man off of him, which resulted in Santiesteban shooting him in the face.
The victim couldn’t see after he escaped the car but yelled for help until Johnny led him to the store.
“He still has a long way ahead as far as his recovery is concerned,” Zabaleta said. “It’s devastating to know that this individual, not only did he have to live the traumatic incident of being sexually assaulted, but then at the same time be shot in the face.”
Santiesteban remains behind bars at the Miami-Dade jail. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Alex Santiesteban/Police Handout]