A 26-year-old man was arrested after allegedly trying to kidnap two young girls in Hawthorne, officials announced Friday.
Just before 1 p.m. Thursday, officers responded to a report of a possible kidnapping in the 12700 block of Oxford Avenue, the Hawthorne Police Department said in a news release Friday.
Two victims, ages 13 and 14, were walking when a man they didn’t know offered to explore the area with them, and tried to lure them into a car that he said was parked nearby, according to police.
Both girls ran away from the man and to a nearby convenience store.
A few minutes later, the girls started walking home and noticed the same man involved in a verbal altercation with a passerby. The man then turned his attention back to the two girls and began chasing them on foot, police said.
One of the victims said the man grabbed her around the waist from behind but she was able to break free.
The girls ran into the courtyard of a nearby apartment complex, where a resident heard the commotion and came out. The resident confronted the man, who then left the property.
The incident was then reported to police.
Responding officers were able to locate and detained the man — later identified as Steven Noriega — based on a physical description.
Noriega, a 26-year-old from Los Angeles, was arrested on suspicion of attempted kidnapping. He remained in custody Friday.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hawthorne Police Department.