Hillsborough deputies investigating attempted kidnapping of 16-year-old girl

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an attempted kidnapping of a 16-year-old Hillsborough High School girl.

Around 4 p.m. on Thursday, deputies say the girl was walking south on Himes Avenue after getting off a school bus at Himes and Flora Street. The bus she was on was not her usual bus, but deputies say she missed her school bus and decided to take another.

At some point, the girl noticed she was being followed by someone in an unknown car.

Deputies describe the suspect as a Hispanic male, possibly in his 30s, with a medium build and “bad teeth.” At the time, he was wearing a long sleeve white shirt with paint stains, khaki pants, a tan baseball hat and sunglasses. He was driving an older model, faded red four-door SUV. Deputies do not know the make.

Investigators say the suspect asked the teenager, in broken English, if she wanted a ride. When the girl didn’t answer, deputies say the man continued to drive down side streets until eventually stopping and parking at the intersection of Himes and Minnehaha Street.

“And approaches her and he’s laughing.  He tries to grab her, but doesn’t touch her. She takes off running,” said Debbie Carter with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The teen ran away to a bank on the corner of Himes and Hillsborough Avenue and asked for help from a security guard.

The suspect’s car was last seen headed west on Hillsborough Avenue.

“We’re concerned that you have a child, even though she’s 16-years old, that’s still a child, she’s walking home from school and she is approached by an individual who’s trying to give her a ride or abduct her at some point,” Carter added.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 247-8200.

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