On Monday November 4 Tampa police arrested a man who was accused of attempting to abduct a teenage girl. According to police, the man approached a 16-year-old girl just before 7:00 AM. She was walking to her school bus stop. He apparently announced that she knew him.
When he had said this, the teenage girl said that she did not know him. She then attempted to walk away from him in turn, though he had blocked her path. When she tried to go around him he apparently pointed his hand as though it were a gun and put it to her head. He then grabbed her arm and forced her to come with him.
That being said, it does not appear that Byrd had a weapon on his person at the time. That could have potentially led to an additional charge, because of the fear of a resulting violent crime. An outburst of violence would, of course, have been treated extremely seriously.
A friend of the victim saw them and confronted the man. He walked off and approached several other juveniles. They were on a bus bench, and he tried to offer them a soda. They had ignored him however. At this point, a neighbor saw the man and called the police. Tampa police arrived, and arrested him. They identified him as Cornelius Will Byrd Jr., a 33-year-old resident of the 1000 block of East 23rd Avenue.
Reports seem to suggest that he gave chase once police showed up. Nevertheless, after the chase they were able to apprehend him. In addition, for his actions Byrd was also charged with obstruction on top of a pair of other charges. As alert neighbors and the quick actions of potential victims stopped the suspect from doing anything serious, these charges will be levied on a slightly different basis than had he actually abducted the individuals in question.
Considering their relatively defenseless nature, crimes against minors are particularly problematic for courts. Juries are often particularly moved by the complaints of a plaintiff who is rather young.