Officers arrested a Miami-Dade man early Tuesday morning after he allegedly abducted, sexually assaulted and shot a 12-year-old boy this past weekend.
Police took 43-year-old Aliex Santiesteban into custody and charged him with several counts, including sexual battery with a deadly weapon, kidnapping and attempted murder. He was booked into the Miami-Dade jail early Tuesday morning and was being held without bond, records showed.
Police say DNA evidence and "good old-fashioned police work" led them to Santiesteban.
"This is a reminder to parents and children to be vigilant because in this world, there are evil people who will not hesitate to harm children," MDPD Director Freddy Ramirez said at a news conference Tuesday.
Ramirez, the father of a 12-year-old himself, appeared emotional at times during the news conference.
"This is extremely disturbing and it hits you at the soul. No child or family should ever suffer the horrors that they went through," he said. "This child suffered physical and emotional trauma that will take years to overcome."
Santiesteban's ex-girlfriend, Yordana Aguilar, spoke with NBC 6 exclusively and said she was with him the night of the arrest. Aguilar said he had been acting "nervous" and added he was emotionally unstable and had aggressive and violent tendencies.
Exclusive video obtained by NBC 6 showed officers taking a man later identified as Santiesteban into custody and a large Miami-Dade police presence Monday night in Overtown.
Investigators say the incident happened around 2:30 a.m. Saturday as the boy was walking in the area of Northwest 43rd Terrace and 30th Avenue while returning home after going to meet with friends when he was approached by a man in a black, 4-door sedan, Miami-Dade Police officials said.
The man forced the boy inside the vehicle and drove him to an empty lot in the area of Northwest 45th Street and 31st Avenue, where he was sexually assaulted in the back seat of the car.
At a news conference Monday, Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said the child locks had been activated on the car, which prevented the boy from getting out. Zabaleta said the boy eventually fought the man off, then the man shot him in the face and pushed him out of the car.
The boy couldn't see but was found wandering by a good Samaritan on a bicycle, who led him to a nearby business where they called 911.
"He took this victim to a nearby convenience store and summoned assistance, which ultimately saved his life," Major Brian Rafky of the MDPD Special Victims Bureau said Tuesday, adding the suspect has a criminal history.
Surveillance footage from the business showed the boy covered in blood and collapsing to the ground before police officers arrived.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the scene and transported the boy to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition.
Rafky said the victim remains in the hospital and has a "long road" in his recovery. He added the investigation will continue to see if there are any additional victims.
"This is someone we want people to look at and see if there are any other victims out there," he said.
Anyone who may have information on other similar cases are asked to call Miami-Dade Police.
"Us as parents and leaders in this community, we need to let people know of the dangers that exist out there," Rafky said.
Miami Beach Police say they are investigating an alleged robbery that took place shortly after the abduction where Santiesteban claimed he was the victim. Police say he was unable to provide a description of the suspected robber and was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital to be treated for injuries.