A 33-year-old Bronx man was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday in connection with a June 6, 2014 crime spree that began in Pennsylvania, went through Paterson and ended in a high-speed chase across the George Washington Bridge, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Luis Figueroa allegedly waited outside an apartment building in Luzerne County, PA, with a shotgun and struck a former girlfriend in the head with it. He then punched her and attacked her relative, who escaped, authorities said.
Figueroa forced the former girlfriend into the backseat of an SUV and told her he planned to kill her, then himself, authorities said. He forced the woman to perform a sex act on him and after driving into New Jersey, he sexually assaulted her at the Kittatinny Point Visitor Center in Warren County.
He got out of the car to dispose of the shotgun and the woman got into the driver’s seat and drove away, authorities said. Figueroa then attacked a National Park Service employee working near the parking lot and demanded his keys.
Figueroa took the car and drove it to a used car dealership on West Broadway in Paterson that he had been subletting. He dropped the car off there and proceeded to Hosanna Motors on Totowa Avenue. The owners of Hosanna Motors have told The Record that Figueroa was related to them and may have been angry after they evicted him from the lot they own on West Broadway.
There, Figueroa filled a gas container given to him by an employee and doused a small office area and lit a match, starting a fire, authorities said. He was burned but fled in an SUV, leading police on a chase on the George Washington Bridge.
He eventually rammed his SUV into two police cars and crashed it into a wall, authorities said. He fled on foot but police tackled and arrested him. Two officers who had been in the police cars were treated for minor injuries and Figueroa stayed at the burn center at Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan for several weeks.
He is charged with kidnapping, brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, aggravated sexual abuse, assaulting an employee of the United States and arson. Figueroa was convicted in 2001 of unlawful imprisonment in New York.