Man charged with trying to kidnap 16-year-old student

A man who allegedly tried to abduct a 16-year-old student on the first day of school has been arrested, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

About 4 p.m. Aug. 10, the girl was walking southbound on Himes Avenue after being let off a school bus at Himes and Flora Street. She noticed she was being followed by a red SUV with all its windows rolled down.

The Hispanic male inside asked her, in broken English, if she wanted a ride. She didn't answer.

The driver went down side streets and parked at Himes and Minnehaha Street, where he exited the SUV. He approached the girl from behind, laughing and tried to grab her. She ran until she reached the Bank of America at Himes and Hillsborough Avenue, where she asked a security guard for assistance.

Investigators identified Juan Pablo Bonilla, 51, of Tampa as the suspect. Deputies arrested Bonilla on Friday. He is facing a charge of attempted kidnapping. Bail was set at $7,500.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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