MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A massive manhunt ended Friday afternoon with the arrest of a 21-year-old man, who according to reports, since December, had been beating, burning and threatening to kill his 20-year-old girlfriend if she left.READ MORE: 120 Opa-locka Residents Return Home After Gas Explosion At Apartment Complex
Ivan Zapata was taken to the hospital after a reported suicide attempt, a source told CBS4’s Jim DeFede. While at the hospital, Zapata’s girlfriend called police, said she had been sexually assaulted by the suspect.
When cops went to arrest Zapata, a fight followed, Zapata escaped the hospital, and a manhunt ensued.
“Once he released his handcuffs to get dressed, he viciously attacked the officer, a fight broke out between the subject and the officer in the hallway and the stairwell. He tried to remove the officers gun… he flees… and carjacking,” said Juan Pérez, Miami-Dade’s Deputy Police Director.
Several police helicopters were circling a specific area in south west Miami Dade for several hours. On the ground, dozens of police officers and the special response team arrived in full gear to help in the intense search for Zapata who they considered dangerous.
Florida International University sent an alert to its students regarding the police search and two schools in the area went on lockdown.
Residents of the University Lakes mobile home park and the surrounding area between 8 to 18th Street and 127th Avenue were told to stay inside and those heading home were forced to stay out. According to police that was where Zapata lived.
CBS4’s Oralia Ortega asked resident Daniela Leszcano, “How long have been out here?”
“Like two and a half hours,” said Leszcano.
On Friday, around 2:30 p.m., Zapata was captured in Hialeah Gardens. Police first questioned a man who lives in the apartment where the suspect was found. That man was let go after detectives determined he was not harboring the suspect.READ MORE: Police Investigate Double Shooting In NW Miami-Dade
According to the arrest report, Zapata was holding his 20-year-old girlfriend captive since December.
The suspect’s girlfriend, according to the report, told police she got into an argument with Zapata about her wanting to see her mother.
The argument escalated and Zapata “ordered” her to remove her clothing and go into a bathroom. The victim told police she was in fear for her life so she did as she was told.
According to the arrest report, Zapata began to beat the victim, bruising her body with the stick of a toilet plunger. He then went on to sexually assault the victim, according to the report.
The victim told police that Zapata, since December, had been punching and burning her with cigarettes, threatening to kill her if she would leave.
On Friday, Zapata went to visit a family member and the victim used the opportunity to escape and get help.
Officers said following the arrest Zapata was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital for a mental evaluation.
He is now facing charges of sexual battery, kidnapping, and aggravated battery but does have a criminal history.
Zapata has a criminal history that includes a 2011 for selling marijuana on school grounds and in 2012 for child abuse, domestic violence, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and battery.MORE NEWS: CDC Issues New Covid-19 Guidance For The Holiday Season