Authorities have arrested a suspect in connection with a heinous attack on a 12-year-old Miami-area boy on Saturday.
Police say that a suspect abducted the unnamed child, raped him, and shot him in the face before dumping him on the side of the road.
What are the details?
According to WPLG-TV, bystanders discovered a bloodied child wandering around a neighborhood in Miami-Dade County during the early hours of Saturday morning.
He was screaming, "Help, someone, help me, please."
A man who identified himself by only his first name, Johnny, said that he discovered the boy in the city streets and escorted him to a nearby convenience store for help.
"I bring him to the store so they can call the police for him," he told the outlet, noting that he did not have his own phone. "He was conscious, then he fell on the sidewalk and said he had been shot."
Surveillance video captured the moment Johnny and the young boy arrived at the store. The video showed the child collapsing while another bystander called 911. Another bystander, according to the outlet, brought the child a towel and a bottle of water while they all waited for first responders to arrive on the scene.
Authorities said that the boy was walking around the Brownsville area earlier in the evening when a man pulled up, forced the child into the vehicle, sexually assaulted him, and shot him in the face. He then forced the child out of the vehicle.
12-Year-Old Boy Abducted, Sexually Assaulted & Shot In Brownsville www.youtube.com
What are the latest details?
On Tuesday morning, authorities arrested 43-year-old Aliex Santiesteban in connection with the attack.
He was booked into the Miami-Dade jail on charges of sexual battery with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, and attempted murder, authorities said.
In a Monday news conference, Miami-Dade police spokesperson Alvaro Zabaleta said that the child locks were activated during the attack, which prevented the child from getting out of the vehicle.
Zabaleta said that the child was eventually able to fight the suspect off — but then the suspect reportedly shot him in the face and shoved him out of the vehicle.
"The young boy says he couldn't see at the time," Zabaleta told reporters. "He had lost his sight and he was using his touch to find his way around trying to seek help."
As of Monday, the unnamed boy — who was hospitalized in critical condition — was stable and recovering.
"He still has a long way ahead as far as his recovery is concerned," Zabaleta said. "It's devastating to know that this individual, not only did he have to live the traumatic incident of being sexually assaulted, but then at the same time be shot in the face."
The child, Zabaleta said, was out so late at night because he had reportedly snuck out of the house to visit friends without telling his parents. He left pillows stacked in his bed in case his parents decided to check on him. The child was reportedly on his way home when he was approached by the suspect.
Man Charged In Sexual Assaulting, Shooting Of 12-Year-Old Boy www.youtube.com