Police: Florida National Guardsman terrorized women with grenade, rifle

Melbourne police arrest William Soto Figueroa

MELBOURNE, Fla. - Melbourne police arrested a member of Florida's National Guard on suspicion of threatening a group of women with a smoke grenade and an assault rifle.

According to Melbourne police, William Soto Figueroa, 24, entered an apartment on Woodwind Trail -- without permission -- Wednesday night and scared four women inside with the grenade. 

The victims thought the smoke bomb was a grenade and ran into different rooms in the apartment, police said.

Police say Figueroa left the apartment but later returned with an AR-15-style assault rifle. The gun, police say, is Figueroa's personal weapon. Investigators are trying to determine where Figueroa got the smoke grenade, which they described as military issue.

"We all just kind of freaked out because nobody knows what it is. Like it could've went off," said victim Katelyn Kearn.

Kearn was inside her apartment with roommate Brittany Collison when they say Figueroa barged in walked right in multiple times.

"He was standing there and he had a gun behind his back," said Collison.

The victims told Local 6 Figueroa seemed to think bringing the weapons over was a joke, but they didn't find it funny.

"I feel like he should know better and I feel kind of bad that it happened because he is in the National Guard, but at the same time it's not a joke," said Kearn.

Police told Local 6 that Figueroa, who lives a few doors down from the women in the same building, never pointed the gun at the women.

The smoke grenade and assault rifle were found inside Figueroa's apartment. Police evacuated the apartment building and quickly found Figueroa in the complex.

According to police, he was panicky and stated, "Oh no. My career is over," as officers arrested him.

Figueroa was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, armed burglary and planting a hoax bomb and was taken to the Brevard County Jail.

Melbourne police say Figueroa is a member of the 715th Military Police Company, which is based in Melbourne. The unit deployed on March 25, and Figueroa had been posting on his Facebook profile that he was upset he wasn't able to deploy with his unit. He posted pictures from the deployment from the Melbourne National Guard Armory.

Figueroa will appear in front of a judge on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

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