Coral Gables police say they have taken a dangerous sex predator off the street after he attacked a woman over the weekend and say he may be involved in other sex crimes. The man got out of prison earlier this year, and now he’s back behind bars on the charge that’s frightened residents of the neighborhood near Miracle Mile.
34-year-old Gary Arroliga was off camera Wednesday but that didn’t stop his case from being heard by the Miami-Dade bond court judge.
Coral Gables police charged him with the sexual battery of a woman. Police say he threatened the woman and forced her to perform oral sex.
“He began to drag her into the parking lot," Sergeant Alejandro Escobar told NBC 6. "Once in the parking lot, a witness drove by. The subject got startled. The victim was able to fight.“
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Police say the woman was able to get away but Arroliga chased her down again and she struggled with him until the ran off. Detectives went looking for registered sex offenders living in or near the Gables and found Arroliga’s photo. The victim identified him, and so did two other witnesses.
“Because she made noise and because she was able to bring attention to it, another witness was able to identify and come out and that’s when the subject fled the area,” Escobar said.
Detectives began their search for registered sex offenders in the the area and showed Arroliga photo to the victim and witnesses. Records show that Arroliga was sentenced in 2013 for the robbery of a couple and sex assault on woman in Coconut Grove.
He was in prison from October 2013 until May 27, 2021 and had been on supervised probation.
The judge addressed Arroliga’s prior record.
“He has a prior conviction on the same charge," Judge Mindy Glazer said.
“And its a conviction for the same thing. He was sentenced to a decade in prison,” The prosecutor added.
Adriana Alcalde is a former sex crimes prosecutor and now private attorney. She said, “Hopefully, that will be picked up as a Jimmy Ryce case so that after this case is done he never gets out.”
Alcade believes the Florida law named after young murder victim Jimmy Ryce can be used down the road to keep Arroliga away from the public. The law allows the state to hold an inmate even if their sentence is up. Ryce was murdered in 1995. He had been kidnapped when getting off the school bus 10 days before his 10th birthday.
“It basically means that there sentence is up and they are not just going to be released into the public and they say we have to hold on to them to continue treatment —to basically to measure so that the public can be safe,” Alcalde said.
“It’s so scary. I am scared because I am walking all the time outside like exercise—-doing something. So, I don’t know. I’m shocked,” one Coral Gables resident said.
Judge Glazer set Arroliga’s bond on the latest charge at $250,000 and house arrest. He’s presumed innocent.
Glazer in no way allowed him to leave the jail. He’s going to court this week on the other legal matters against him, including the potential of having his probation revoked. Coral Gables detectives are looking to see if he was involved in any other crimes since his release.