Alexander Michael Sardinas of Florida was arrested this week after allegedly kidnapping a 17-year-old girl and forcing her to help him get past a COVID-19 checkpoint. The 37-year-old man and an unnamed woman from Islamorada took the girl from a Publix parking lot in Homestead, according to ABC News.
The 17-year-old girl, whose name has been kept private, is a resident of the Florida Keys. In an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Florida Keys is closed to those who are not residents through the end of the month. In order to travel through the checkpoint, a driver would need to prove that they are a resident.
Sardinas and the 43-year-old woman had already tried to get through the checkpoint but were denied entry because they did not have the proper documentation. Thus, they intended to use the teenage girl to help them gain entrance. They instructed the girl, under the threat of physical harm, to drive them to Tavernier. She did as she was instructed and upon reaching the checkpoint, she handed over her driver’s license and proof of residence. At the time, she did not inform anyone that she had been kidnapped because she feared that she would be harmed. They were all permitted to travel on.
The 17-year-old later dropped off Sardinas at a gas station and dropped the woman off at a pharmacy. Once she was alone, she called a family member who later informed the police of the dangerous situation. Police were able to track down both the male and female suspects who both claimed they had never been in the car with the teenage victim. Nevertheless, their stories regarding how they met her did not match up.
The victim is reportedly uninjured while Sardinas has been taken into custody. The woman who had accompanied him was not arrested.
Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay expressed his gratitude that this situation did not end tragically.
“I am relieved this suspect is currently sitting in jail and the young victim in this case was not seriously hurt,” he said in a statement.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the state of Florida has been taking numerous precautions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. There has been a ban placed upon vacation rentals for the past two months which is expected to soon be lifted with certain restrictions. However, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis noted that he will not approve renting properties out to those from New York City.