Acting as a getaway driver during a Miami Beach robbery, Michael Rudy Martinez told police he figured he could recoup the $100 he was owed from a couple of deadbeat friends.
What he didn’t figure: That during the robbery, his friends would force a woman to get naked at gunpoint and one would allegedly sexually assault her, causing an all-out manhunt for the bumbling trio who used a stolen credit card at a McDonald’s shortly after the crime.
“That’s one of the first investigative leads that we had,” said Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez.
On Tuesday, a week after the incident, police rounded up Martinez, 20, Xavier Joey Lopez, 21, and Rafael Gabriel Monroy, 21, from three separate locations. All three were charged with armed robbery with a deadly weapon. In addition, Lopez was charged with sex assault and possession of a controlled substance; Martinez, with credit card fraud; and Monroy, with dealing in stolen property.
All three are being held without bond at the Turner Guilford Knight correctional facility. State criminal records show Monroy and Lopez got into a few minor skirmishes with law enforcement over the years but were never convicted of a crime. Martinez’s criminal history is lengthier.
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In 2014, he was charged with several burglary counts, which were dropped. Then in 2015, Martinez was arrested by Miami-Dade police on three different occasions and charged with several counts of burglary, probation violation and grand theft. Those cases appear to be pending.
According to Tuesday’s arrest affidavits, Martinez dropped Monroy and Lopez off at Ocean Drive and Fifth Street just after midnight June 22. As they walked north on the beach toward Eighth Street, they bumped into a couple vacationing from Texas.
Monroy, the police report says, then pulled a black firearm and pointed it at the couple, “demanding that they both remove all their clothing.” When they were naked, the couple were ordered to hand over jewelry, money and credit cards.
The woman told police that when Monroy suggested she give him and Lopez oral sex, Lopez began groping her and sexually assaulting her. That’s when, she said, the man she was with stood between her and the suspects and Monroy and Lopez took off.
The victims told police they watched Monroy and Lopez ditch the clothes they had taken near a garbage can as they ran back toward Fifth Street, then saw the two get into the car driven by Martinez.
During his arrest Tuesday, police said Monroy resisted, refusing to place his hands behind his back. He was struck in the face by an officer, then obeyed the order. Inside a bag owned by Monroy, police said they found two yellow metal gold rings with precious stones that the woman identified as belonging to her.
Though the couple returned to Texas, police reached out to them Tuesday.
“Our detectives spoke with them late last night after the arrests,” Rodriguez said. “It was one of the first phone calls they made.”