A Miami Police Department officer, who at one time was honored by the governor of Florida for heroism, was arrested Wednesday after a warrant was issued on several charges including false imprisonment and battery.
Officer Alexi Figueroa, 27, turned himself in following an investigation by the Miami-Dade Police Department and the State Attorney’s Office.
According to an arrest warrant, the charges stem from an incident that happened in the early morning hours of Jan. 26, 2016.
The warrant said a 19-year-old woman left her home to go to a store in the area of Northwest 79th Street and 7th Avenue when Figueroa, who was in a marked City of Miami police car, stopped and called out to her.
The officer asked her for her name and phone number, then told her to get in his car, the warrant said.
The woman complied and once in the car, Figueroa started talking to her inappropriately, "as if he was interested in some type of sexual encounter with her," the warrant said.
At one point, the officer leaned over toward her, kissed her on the mouth and put his hand down her shirt, the warrant said.
The victim said she was shocked and startled by the officer's conduct and "felt compelled to do what he told her, since he was a police officer in a marked police car in a police uniform," the warrant said.
She later called the police's internal affairs department.
Figueroa faces two counts of simple battery and one count of false imprisonment, according to a statement released from Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes.
Figueroa was relieved of duty with pay in February 2016 and will remain that way pending the outcome of his case and the department’s own investigation, Chief Llanes said.
In 2013, Figueroa was presented the Medal of Heroism award by Gov. Rick Scott. Figueroa, while off-duty, had stopped a man who was shooting at a Miami-Dade supermarket.
No one answered the door at Figueroa's house Thursday.
Javier Ortiz, President of the Fraternal Order of Police chapter for the Miami Police Department, released a statement saying Figueroa is "looking forward to his day in court to be exonerated of these charges."