The Monroe County Sheriff’s department says that they have arrested a Florida Keys man who kidnapped a 17-year-old girl in order to get through a COVID-19 checkpoint after he was initially turned away.
The incident occurred sometime in the morning on May 21st.
Authorities say 37-year-old Alexander Michael Sardinas and a 43-year-old woman from Islamorada pulled up to the Keys checkpoint in a ridesharing vehicle but were both refused entry due to lack of identification.
A short while later, a highway patrol officer spotted Sardinas and the woman arguing and offered them a ride to Florida City.
From there, the pair reportedly walked to a Publix where they noticed a teen with a Keys hurricane reentry sticker on her vehicle.
At that point, Sardinas approached the teen and demanded that she drive them to Tavernier and threatened to harm her if she refused to do so or touched her cell phone.
The victim complied and drove them to the security checkpoint where she showed her ID and was granted access.
Authorities say the teen did not alert them to the situation as she passed the checkpoint because she was afraid of what Sardinas might do.
Once the teen passed the checkpoint, she dropped Sardinas off at a gas station and the woman off at a pharmacy before calling a relative. The relative then contacted the police.
Detectives later located both Sardinas and the woman at different locations and reported that neither of the suspects denied being with the victim. The victim was also able to identify Sardinas through a photo lineup.
Sardinas has since been charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment. Other charges are still pending.