A Florida man has been accused of trying to abduct a child from a mall arcade, in addition to reportedly attempting to enlist teenagers to sell marijuana for him.
A 10-year-old boy was hanging out at the arcade with nearly a dozen of his friends and an 18-year-old in the Viaport Mall. At one point during the excursion, the child reportedly walked toward the entryway to try to find his sister.
While the boy was searching for his sibling, a man, later identified as 27-year-old Tyler Houston Rathel, allegedly walked up to the child and made small talk asking if he would like to accompany him to the store.
Rathel allegedly grabbed the boy by the arm and tried to force him out of the arcade, but the child was able to get away and immediately reported the incident to an adult.
The mob of children accompanied by the 18-year-old took off on foot and ran after Rathel. As the kids followed the alleged suspect a police officer who was driving past saw the chase and went to investigate the situation.
When the authorities approached and talked to the 10-year-old he gave them his account of what transpired with Rathel, and they decided to detain the suspect.
Rathel was placed under arrest and taken to the county jail for suspicion of false imprisonment by luring and enticing a child under the age of 13, and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The latter charges are the result of the suspect allegedly trying to get two 14-year-olds to sell pot for him.
Rathel is being held on a $45,000 bail for the allegations against him.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.