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Philadelphia attempted kidnapping suspect arrested

July 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police have made an arrest in the attempted kidnapping of a 10-year-old girl in South Philadelphia that was caught on surveillance video.

Police say Carlos Figueroa-Fagot, 33, surrendered at about midnight after being persuaded by his family. Due to the publicity surrounding the case, Figueroa-Fagot's family told investigators that he couldn't "walk, talk or breathe out there on the streets."

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter credited the police department, media and tips from the public for helping pressure Figueroa-Fagot to turn himself in.

Figueroa-Fagot has been charged with attempted kidnapping, unlawful restraint, simple assault, false imprisonment and unlawful contact with a minor. His vehicle, which was seen on surveillance tape, has been recovered, police said.

Investigators described the attack as both gripping and disturbing. The video shows a car pulling up and parking near a fire hydrant in a residential street in South Philadelphia, waiting as the girl and her 2-year-old brother walk by. As the children, who were on their way home from buying sweets, turn the corner, a man gets out of the car and follows them. Then another surveillance camera captures the man coming up from behind and trying snatch the terrified girl.

He places his hand over her mouth and lifts her off the ground, as the girl's brother screams loudly. The man stumbles as he tries to drag the girl toward his car. After a brief struggle, the man eventually gives up and runs back to his car and takes off.

The girl and her brother made it home safely, where she told her mother about the incident, who then called 911.

The girl's mother, who didn't want to be identified to protect her daughter's identity, says the 10-year-old is staying strong.

"Other than really scared, I mean, she's mentally stressed out, but physically, she's doing OK," she said.

Police knew that the surveillance video would be the key to catching their suspect, so the department launched a massive social media campaign, posting it on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

In the last year, social media has help Philly police capture 85 suspects.


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