A New York man who went on a violent, multi-state crime spree has been convicted by a jury and faces the possibility of life in prison, federal authorities said.
Luis Figueroa, 41, of the Bronx, was convicted of criminal sexual assault, kidnapping, possession of a firearm, and assaulting an employee of the United States, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey announced in a press release on Friday.
The violence started June. 6, 2014 when Figueroa attacked his ex-girlfriend at her home in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Figueroa waited outside her home, hit her with a shot gun, saying “I told you I was going to kill you,” the feds said.
He beat both his former girlfriend and her sister in the apartment, causing the sister — who was eight months pregnant — to fall down a flight of stairs, authorities said. Figueroa grabbed his shotgun and forced his ex into his SVU with him.
Figueroa then drove to New Jersey, parked at Kittatinny Point Visitor’s Center, and sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend in the vehicle. Court documents say that after being assaulted, Figueroa’s ex-girlfriend persuaded him to get rid of the shotgun. When he got out of the car to do so, she got in the driver’s seat and sped off in the SUV.
Finding himself without a vehicle, Figueroa approached an employee, smashing the man’s head into a storage room door and demanding his car keys, authorities said.
Figueroa drove the vehicle to a used car dealership in Paterson owned by a person he had a business relationship with, authorities said. Once there, he asked an employee for a gas can, filled it at a gas station, returned, and then spread the gasoline throughout the dealership’s office. The feds said Figueroa and the employee fought and Figueroa lit a match, setting the office on fire.
After he sped off, a police chase ensued between officers and Figueroa near the George Washington Bridge. Figueroa rammed multiple police cars and injured an officer before trying unsuccessfully to flee on foot, authorities said.
“The conduct for which this defendant was convicted describes an almost unimaginable level of violence and depravity,” U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger said in the statement. “All of the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies that worked on finding, capturing and prosecuting him did outstanding work in this case. This conviction, and the severe punishment the defendant now faces, should ensure that he is no longer a threat to public safety.”
Figueroa is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 8.
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