A man accused of targeting a teen online before arranging a meetup in Moorpark was arrested Monday after allegedly trying to sexually assault the 16-year-old, the Ventura County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday.
The 16-year-old agreed to meetup with a friend she had been chatting with online at Peach Hill Park.
Because it was the first time she was meeting her online friend named Reggie Glass, she made sure the park was a public place.
As she waited, a 22-year-old man wearing a beanie pulled down near his eyes and something over his face walked up to the girl.
The man forced the girl back into her car, and told her he was going to sexually assault her, deputies said.
"As soon as the victim encountered the suspect, the suspect attacked the victim by pushing her into the vehicle and telling her that he was going to sexually assault her," Garo Kuredjian, Ventura County Sheriff's Department, said.
The girl yelled for help and tried to get out of her car, catching the attention of a person nearby.
Top news of the day
The concerned citizen began walking up to the car, which deputies say made Glass retreat.
The girl flagged down volunteers with the Moorpark Police Department who happened to be patrolling.
The volunteers watched Glass and when deputies showed up, Glass allegedly fled the area. Deputies caught and arrested him a few blocks away, deputies said.
Glass was arrested on suspicion of kidnap with intent to rape, attempted rape, false imprisonment and resisting arrest. He was being held on $250,000 bail.
Deputies said the teen told them she had been involved in online relationships in the past, and used social media to find a meeting place.
The Ventura County Sheriff's Office and the Moorpark Police Department were warning parents that their children's social media accounts should be monitored in order to avoid internet predators. They reference the process of online grooming and how predators will deceive children to earn their trust.