Tempe "Kidnapping Victim" Admits the Whole Thing Was a Hoax; Met "Suspect" on Adult Dating Web Site

Last night, a 17-year-old Tempe girl was taken from the Arizona Mills Mall and driven to a convenience store in Mesa by a man police described as a 30-year-old Hispanic.

The girl claimed she was walking outside the mall looking for her bike, when the man approached her and offered her a ride home.

Once in the car, the girl claims the man made "sexually suggestive" statements to her while placing his hand on her thigh. 

When the girl was let out of the car in Mesa, she told an employee her version of what just happened.

Like an old-fashioned game of telephone, the employee told the Mesa Police Department, which then told the Tempe Police Department, which then told New Times.

The only problem is that almost the entire story turns out to be a load of crap.

The girl was, in fact, in a car with a man that she met at the Arizona Mills Mall, and that's about the only part of the original story that holds water..

Tempe Police Sergeant Steve Carbajal tells New Times that, after interviewing the "victim," again today, it turns out that she didn't meet the man as she was looking for her bike outside of the mall. She met the man at the mall after chatting with him on an adult dating Web site Carbajal says, and the two agreed to meet.

Then there's the part about the man's aggressive sexual advances.

It turns out that once in the car, the girl had second thoughts, so she revealed herself to be a minor. As Carbajal notes, much to the man's credit, as soon as he discovered she was only 17, he almost immediately let her out of the car.

No charges have been filed against the girl, who police say suffers from a developmental disability.  

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James King
Contact: James King