A man was arrested after authorities said he kidnapped a 17-year-old girl so she could drive him through the checkpoint in the Florida Keys.
Alexander Michael Sardinas, 37, was arrested Thursday on kidnapping/false imprisonment charges, Monroe County Sheriff's Office officials said.
Officials said Sardinas, who lives in Tavernier, along with a 43-year-old Islamorada woman, had tried to enter the Keys in a rideshare taxi Thursday morning without proper identification or paperwork.
The Keys have been closed to visitors amid the coronavirus outbreak, with a checkpoint allowing residents in at the 112.5 mile marker of U.S. 1.
After they were turned around, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper gave Sardinas and the woman a ride to Florida City, officials said.
A short time later, the pair went to a Publix in Homestead, where they approached the teen victim in the parking lot, officials said.
The victim, who has Monroe County plates and a country reentry sticker on her car, told detectives that Sardinas told her she was going to drive the pair to Tavernier and would hurt her if she refused or touched her phone, officials said.
The teen drove to the checkpoint with Sardinas and the woman, then drove them to a gas ststion at mile marker 92, where Sardinas got out. The woman told the teen to drop her off at a pharmacy in Tavernier.
Once she was away from the man and woman, the teen called a family member, who notified authorities about the incident, officials said.
The teen later told investigators she didn't say anything to deputies at the checkpoint because she was scared, officials said.
Sardinas was booked into jail, where he remained behind bars Friday. Attorney information wasn't available.