June 30, 2022

Botu Linum

The Car & Automotive Devotees

Man Convicted Of Kidnapping, Assaults, Arson Of NJ Car Dealership

3 min read

NEW JERSEY — A federal jury convicted a man for a multi-state crime spree in which he kidnapped and sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend, set fire to a car dealership, and beat both a federal employee and a pregnant woman. Luis Figueroa faces life in prison for the series of crimes that took him through New Jersey eight years ago, federal authorities said Friday.

Figueroa was convicted in Newark federal court of kidnapping, criminal sexual abuse, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and assaulting an employee of the United States. The 41-year-old previously pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon and arson.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 8.

In June 2014, Figueroa showed up with a shotgun at his ex-girlfriend’s apartment in Hazelton, Pennsylvania. When she emerged from the apartment, the man struck her in the face with the firearm and said, “I told you I was going to kill you.”

Figueroa then assaulted his former girlfriend and her sister, who was eight-months pregnant. During the attack, another family took Figueroa’s and his ex-girlfriend’s young child into a bedroom to shield them from the violence.

The man struggled with the pregnant woman, causing her to fall down a flight of stairs. Figueroa then took his former girlfriend into a red SUV and forced her into the back seat. He drove the victim into New Jersey, eventually stopping at the Kittatinny Point Visitor’s Center — a federal property in Warren County.

Figueroa sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend in the vehicle. When he left the car to dispose of his shotgun, the victim climbed into the driver’s seat and drove away to safety.

The man returned and saw his SUV and ex-girlfriend were no longer there. Figueroa then approached a National Park Service employee, led him to a nearby storage room and slammed his head against a door. Figueroa threatened to harm the employee if he didn’t hand over the keys to his own vehicle. The worker complied, and Figueroa fled in the victim’s car.

Figueroa then drove to Paterson, where he entered a used car dealership operated by someone with whom had had a business relationship. He asked an employee for a portable gas canister, which he filled shortly thereafter at a nearby gas station. Figueroa then returned to the dealership and doused the office with gasoline.

After a brief struggle with an employee, Figueroa lit a match and set the building on fire, engulfing the building in flames and setting himself on fire in the process. Figueroa fled the scene in another vehicle.

Police spotted Figueroa’s SUV moving erratically toward the George Washington Bridge, leading into New York. Figueroa ignored officers’ commands to stop, leading to a high-speed chase in which he rammed his car into several police vehicles, injuring a cop. Figueroa tried to escape on foot, but police caught him shortly after.

Figueroa faces life in prison for the kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault charges, while convictions of other violent crimes could add decades to his prison sentence.