SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A West Valley man who allegedly attempted to kidnap a 12-year-old girl as she was walking to school in Salt Lake City was charged on Tuesday, May 2.
Salt Lake City Police arrested Jose Arquimides Manzanarez Munoz, 53, on April 25. He was charged Tuesday at the Third District Court in Salt Lake County with first-degree attempted child kidnapping.
According to charging documents, a 12-year-old girl was approached by a dark green vehicle on April 25 while she was walking to Liberty Elementary School. The driver, later identified as Munoz, reportedly pulled up to the girl and asked if she wanted a ride.
The girl told him no, but Munoz offered her a $100 bill to get into his vehicle, court documents stated. At this point, the girl ran toward her school, and Munoz tried to stop her with his vehicle multiple times.
The girl reported the incident to a trusted person at her school. Police spotted Munoz’s truck near 550 West 200 South a while later and safely arrested Munoz.
The Salt Lake City Police Department shared some tips to keep children and teens safe:
- Never talk to strangers – If a stranger approaches a child or teen, teach them to say “No!” and to run to a safe place to report the incident.
- Use the buddy system – Encourage children and teens to be with a friend or family member when outside.
- Be aware of your surroundings – Tell children and teens to be aware of their surroundings. Encourage them not to become distracted by personal devices and headphones/earbuds that may prevent them from seeing or hearing someone approach them.
- Trust your instincts – Remind children and teens that it is okay for them to trust their instincts. If they ever find themselves in an uncomfortable situation, they should report it to a trusted adult immediately.