NY man found guilty of 2014 interstate crime spree that included Paterson arson

·2 min read

A Bronx man was convicted on charges stemming from a multi-state crime spree in 2014, during which U.S. attorneys said he kidnapped his ex-girlfriend, sexually assaulted her, attacked a park ranger, and used multiple stolen vehicles to make his way to Paterson, where he doused his business partner's used car dealership in gasoline and set it ablaze.

A federal jury found Luis Figueroa, 41, guilty of kidnapping, sexual abuse, assaulting a federal employee and weapons possession. Last month, he pleaded guilty to arson and a separate weapons offense.

Authorities say Figueroa's June 2014 rampage began when he abducted an ex-girlfriend from her home in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, at gunpoint and drove her across the state line to a federally owned visitor center in Warren County.

At the rest stop, Figueroa sexually assaulted the woman, who convinced him to dump the gun and used the opportunity to flee in his vehicle, U.S. Attorneys said.

At that point, he found a National Park Service employee, led him to a stoarge room and slammed his head against a door until he handed over the keys to his car, which the suspect used to drive to Paterson, according to the Justice Department.

Several agencies, including AFT, State Fire Marshall,  investigate the scene of a fire at Hosanna Motors in Paterson in June 2014.
Several agencies, including AFT, State Fire Marshall, investigate the scene of a fire at Hosanna Motors in Paterson in June 2014.

In Paterson, Figueroa doused the office of Hosanna Motors on Totowa Avenue in gasoline and set the dealership ablaze, burning himself and fleeing in yet another vehicle, NorthJersey.com previously reported.

At the time, Hosanna's owners told NorthJersey.com that Figueroa had been subletting a portion of a lot they owned on West Broadway and was furious with the business after they evicted him from the other dealership.

Figueroa's spree ended soon after, when he crashed the vehicle he was driving into two police cars and careened into a wall on the George Washington Bridge during a high-speed chase, the Justice Department said.

He is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 8 and could face up to 10 years in prison for the weapons charge, as many as 20 years for assaulting the parks employee, and anywhere from five to 20 years for arson.

Nicholas Katzban is a breaking news reporter for NorthJersey.com. To get breaking news directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

Email: katzban@northjersey.com

Twitter: @nicholaskatzban

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Man found guilty of crime rampage that included Paterson NJ arson

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