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article imageA man attempts to abduct young teen in Florida store

By Arthur Weinreb     Jun 9, 2016 in Crime
Hernando - The attempted kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl was thwarted by the girl's mother. With the help of the store manager, a police officer was able to apprehend the suspect just after he ran out of the store.
The incident occurred at a dollar store in Hernando, Florida late Tuesday morning. The teen was in the store with her mother when a man grabbed her and tried to drag her out of the store. Luckily, the girl's mother succeeded in stopping the kidnapping of her daughter.
The attempted abduction was captured by the store's security system. It shows a man walking down an aisle pushing a shopping cart. He then stops and disappears down another aisle. After briefly returning to his cart he goes back to the sIde aisle. He can then be seen going up the adjoining aisle where two people can be seen. When the man emerges from the second aisle and back into full camera range, he can be seen dragging a struggling young girl.
A woman, identified as the teen's mother, is then seen running after the man. She catches up with him while he is still dragging her daughter near the entrance to the store. While the Tampa Bay Tribune described the girl as "petite," the same could not be said of the mother. Near the door, the mom managed to get on top of her daughter, preventing the man from dragging her out of the store. He then ran out alone.
Citrus County Deputy Jonathan Behnen was on his way back to the station from court when he decided to stop at the dollar store to pick up some things for his wife. He arrived just as the man was running out of the store and believed he was a shoplifter. But after being alerted to what happened by the store manager who had already called 911. Behnen blocked the man's car in with his patrol car and drew his service revolver. After resisting briefly, Behnen was able to take the man into custody.
Craig Bonello, 30, faces kidnapping and child abuse charges.
WTSP reports although Bonello has a criminal record all convictions were for misdemeanors except one for aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer in 2009. He has no record of sexual offences and is not a registered sex offender although police believe, given the brazenness of his actions in the store, this was not his first time.
Capt. Ricky Grant of the sheriff's office described Behnen as a "bona fide hero" in preventing Bonello from getting away. And Sgt. Craig Callaghan said he had never seen anything like this during his 10 years on the job. He added Bonello intended to kidnap the girl in front of all the people in the store.
The attempted abduction was violent enough to rip the girls's shirt but she was not injured although both she and her mother were badly shaken up.
More about Attempted abduction, attempted kidnapping, abduction caught on video, Child abuse
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