Man arrested after 9th grader nearly kidnapped at school-bus stop inHollywood

September 8, 2004

HOLLYWOOD – Police said they arrested a suspect minutes after a 14-year-old girl reported she was nearly kidnapped Wednesday morning at a school-bus stop at 78th Avenue and Hood Street.

The incident occurred shortly after 6 a.m. while the teenage girl waited for a bus to take her to classes at Hollywood Hills High, said Capt. Tony Rode, police spokesman.

The ninth grader told police a man in his 20s approached, then suddenly grabbed one wrist and tried to force her to walk away.

When the man grabbed her other wrist, the child said she either kicked or kneed the suspect. The blow stunned the man and the girl said she was able to break free and run away. She used her cell phone to call her mother, who called police.

Officers quickly set up a perimeter in the neighborhood and began canvassing the area. A short time later police located a man hiding in the shrubbery in the backyard at 7720 Hood St.

The suspect, later identified as Elmer Diaz, 26, was taken into custody without incident and charged with attempted kidnapping.

Rode said the teenage girl later identified the man found hiding in the backyard as her attempted abductor.

Copyright © 2004, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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