Man tries to sexually assault woman at Miami art gallery, police say

Victim fought off suspect with ceramic paint brush, according to authorities

Jose Antonio Figueroa, 48, is accused of trying to sexually assault a woman at an art gallery in Miami. (Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation)

MIAMI – A man was arrested Wednesday after he tried to sexually assault a woman inside an art gallery in Miami, authorities said.

According to an arrest report, Jose Antonio Figueroa, 48, of Miami, stole a box cutter from a clothing store before entering the art gallery at 2121 NW Second Ave.

Miami police said Figueroa locked the front door behind him and proceeded to walk toward the victim, who was at her workstation in the back of the business.

According to the report, the victim told Figueroa he needed to leave, at which time he pulled out the box cutter and pointed it at the victim.

The woman told officers he then grabbed her arm and led her to the back of the art gallery as she pleaded with him to leave the business.

Authorities said the victim handed Figueroa money from her purse in an attempt to get him to leave, but instead he demanded sex from the woman.

According to the arrest report, the victim grabbed a ceramic paint brush and used it to push Figueroa away.

A man who was walking on the sidewalk in front of the art gallery told police he saw the two struggling toward the front of the business and heard the victim scream for help.

Police said Figueroa ran away as the witness chased him, eventually flagging down an officer in the area of Second Avenue and Northwest 20th Street.

Authorities said the officer took Figueroa into custody and recovered the victim’s cellphone, which Figueroa had stolen and tossed into a grassy area as he was being chased.

Figueroa faces multiple charges, including kidnapping, armed robbery, tampering with a victim and petty theft.

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