After sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night, a 12-year-old was abducted, raped, and shot in the face before being dumped on a vacant lot following the heinous attack. But, the nightmare didn’t end there.
Forty-three-year-old Aliex Santiesteban likely thought he had found the perfect victim when he saw a child walking alone around the Brownsville, Florida area in the middle of the night. The 12-year-old boy had snuck out of his house without his parents’ permission or knowledge to visit friends, leaving pillows stacked in his bed in case his parents decided to check on him.
Sadly, the unnamed 12-year-old boy would face his worst nightmare when he decided to head home during the early morning hours that fateful Saturday. He was spotted by Santiesteban, who abducted the unnamed child, according to police. After pulling up next to the boy, Santiesteban forced the child into the vehicle and drove him to an empty lot, where a heinous attack unfolded, according to NBC 6.
The victim tried to escape, but the child locks were activated, preventing the boy from getting out of the vehicle, Miami-Dade police spokesperson Alvaro Zabaleta explained, according to CBS 4 Miami. He was then allegedly raped by Aliex Santiesteban. After eventually fighting the suspect off, the boy was reportedly shot in the face and shoved out of the vehicle by Santiesteban, Zabaleta said.
In what can only be described as nothing short of a miracle, the shot to the face didn’t prove fatal. Instead, the boy was not only able to scream for help, but he was also able to wander around the Miami-Dade County neighborhood, where he was discovered by a bystander, who only identified himself as “Johnny.” Sadly, however, the child could not see.
“The young boy says he couldn’t see at the time,” Zabaleta told reporters, according to The Blaze. “He had lost his sight and he was using his touch to find his way around trying to seek help.”
After spotting the bloodied child wandering the city streets and screaming, “Help, someone, help me, please,” Johnny escorted the boy to a nearby convenience store, where they could call for help. “I bring him to the store so they can call the police for him,” Johnny recalled, 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. In the footage, which is difficult to watch, the child is seen collapsing to the ground while another bystander called 911. Another bystander brought the child a towel and a bottle of water while they all waited for first responders to arrive at the scene, Local 10 News reported.
Three days after the horrific abduction and sexual assault, authorities arrested 43-year-old Aliex Santiesteban in connection with the attack on the 12-year-old Miami-area boy. Santiesteban was booked into the Miami-Dade jail on charges of sexual battery with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, and attempted murder.
The victim was hospitalized in critical condition, but was reportedly 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.”
What this child experienced is absolutely unacceptable in a civilized society, where we should all demand that the most vulnerable among us are protected. There is no excuse for anyone to ever abduct, rape, shoot, and then dump a child as if they are disposable trash that exists only for some pervert’s demented pleasure. And, such savage behavior should be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.
While it’s difficult to hear, this tragic and terrifying story can serve a purpose. Let this be a reminder to both parents and children alike that there are monsters among us and the dark streets are no place for a child to ever be alone. While sneaking out might be a “normal” thing for teens and even preteens to try to do, it can come with life-changing, disastrous consequences. It shouldn’t be that way, but sadly, that’s the reality we live in, and we must do all we can to educate our children on those very real dangers and keep them safe.