Police said Jonathan Martinez Calata, 21, and another man who has not been identified, approached the victim and her friend while they were having lunch off campus. Calata allegedly asked the two teenagers to come back to his house, which they refused. The two girls started walking back to the school but Calata and the other man allegedly continued to follow them.
The victim said Calata later claimed to be her father’s friend and that he was sent to pick her up.
“As they were walking, Calata placed his hand inside the backpack he was carrying and told [the victim], ‘Let’s go,” police said in court documents. “[The victim] was afraid that Calata had a weapon and was going to hurt them.”
The two girls reported they felt the men would act violently toward them if they attempted to flee. As the students made their way back to the school, they were able to get other friends to gather around them. Calata allegedly began threatening the victim to come with him or else he would hurt her friends.
Prosecutors say Calata alone allegedly continued to follow the students the entire way to the Granger High Campus, using his phone to record them as he did. Once on campus, Granite School District Police confronted him and took him into custody. Police said they found four financial cards that had two different names other than Calata’s, a set of brass knuckles, a bag of amphetamines and a THC vape pen.
After his arrest, court documents state Calata showed police the video he took, asking an officer, “Did you see how scared they were?” with a smile.
“We applaud the young people that saw a potentially dangerous situation and quickly reached out to friends to help provide safety in numbers,” said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill. “We appreciate the quick actions of the Granite School District Police Officer that helped identify the danger Mr. Calata presented to the students on Granger High School campus.”
Calata was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail without bail. He has been charged with attempted aggravated kidnapping (second-degree felony), four counts of unlawful possession of a financial transaction card (third-degree felony), as well as misdemeanor charges related to drug possession, trespassing on school property, and possession of a dangerous weapon.
Charges are allegations only. All arrested persons are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.