A man is facing an attempted kidnapping charge after allegedly trying to take a 6-year-old girl from her blind father outside their Huntington Park home, officials announced Wednesday.
Elijah Lopez, 24, has pleaded not guilty in connection with the Aug. 18 incident, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The incident unfolded as the victim and her father were on the Blue Line train heading home. Lopez was also on the train and allegedly followed the pair as they got off, officials said in a news release.
The father and daughter then got on a bus as Lopez continued to track them.
“Once they both got off, the defendant allegedly approached them outside their home and grabbed the girl and tried to pull her away from her father,” officials said.
The father struggled with Lopez before a witness intervened and helped the girl.
Lopez ran from the area, but Los Angeles Police Department officials circulated a wanted flyer for him.
The next day, a San Diego County sheriff’s deputy who had seen the flyer spotted a man who matched the suspect description in Escondido, officials said.
Lopez was wearing the same clothing described in the crime alert and was taken into custody.
A bystander flagged down the deputy and told him he had seen Lopez following a juvenile, but the victim escaped by going into a grocery store for help, San Diego sheriff’s officials said.
He faces 23 years in prison if convicted as charged.