A man was arrested last week after allegedly kidnapping a teenager and forcing her to drive him through a coronavirus checkpoint in the Florida Keys.
According to officials from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, 37-year-old Alexander Michael Sardinas from Tavernier and a 43-year-old woman from Islamorada attempted to taxi into the Florida Keys on Thursday morning, but were not denied proper identification at the freeway checkpoint . The Florida Keys will be closed to non-residents until the end of May due to COVID-19 concerns. Proof of residence is required to reach the checkpoint.
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After being denied entry, the two adults approached a 17-year-old girl in a Publix parking lot in Homestead, about 30 miles north of the Upper Keys. According to the police, Sardinas reportedly threatened to harm the victim, a Florida Keys resident, if she did not drive her to Tavernier.
The victim drove the man and woman to the highway checkpoint and provided their driver’s license with proof of residence, the police said. They said nothing to the checkpoint MPs because they were afraid, they added.
The teenager later took Sardinas to a gas station and the woman to a pharmacy in Tavernier, police said. She called a family member who then alerted the law enforcement, the police said.
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Detectives found Sardinas near where the victim dropped him and the woman in Islamorada, officials said. Neither allegedly denied being in the car with the victim and made conflicting reports of how they had met them, police officers said.
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The victim identified Sardinas in a photo list and was charged with kidnapping / false detention. The woman was not arrested, although the police said further arrests and charges may be pending in the case. No injuries were reported.
“I am relieved that this suspect is currently in jail and the young victim has not been seriously injured in the case,” said Rick Ramsay, Sheriff of Monroe County, in a statement.
A Florida man who allegedly kidnapped a teenager to drive him through the coronavirus checkpoint originally appeared on abcnews.go.com