Parents turn their son into the police after recognizing him and his vehicle in surveillance photos linked to abduction case, police say
- Diego James Gettler was arrested in connection to the attempted kidnapping of a 10-year-old girl, police said.
- Police released footage of the suspect and his damaged vehicle to the public.
A man in Colorado was taken into custody after his parents turned him into the police when they recognized him and his vehicle in surveillance photos.
Diego James Gettler, 28, was charged on Thursday with second-degree kidnapping after he attempted to abduct a 10-year-old girl outside her school in Thorton, according to a statement by the Thorton Police Department.
The girl told police officers that a man approached her nearby the school on the morning of September 23, according to the arrest affidavit obtained by People. She said he asked if she attended school after she was dropped off in the morning by her mother, according to People, citing the affidavit.
She told officers that the man made her feel uncomfortable as he walked behind her up the stairs, and passed her, then walked back down towards her, according to the affidavit reviewed by People.
According to arrest records obtained by People, the man wrapped his hands and arm behind her waist from behind, which led the girl to scream. The man then covered her mouth with his hand to prevent her from continuing to scream for help, according to People, citing the affidavit.
The girl "told detectives she began grabbing at the male and was able to pull down a mask he was wearing, at which point the male appeared spooked and ran away on foot," according to News 9 Thorton.
According to the affidavit reviewed by News 9, the girl told officers that there were no other students, teachers, or staff in the area and banged on the windows until school staff opened the doors for her after she broke free.
Surveillance video showed the man, who was dressed in a black Adidas sweatshirt, black pants, and black shoes, parking and driving off in a gray Saturn Aura near the school, according to Thorton police.
The suspect entered through the passenger side of the vehicle and noted that there was damage on the driver's side, which prevented the door from opening.
Gettler's parents went to the Thornton police station a few days later and identified their son as possibly being involved after recognizing him and his vehicle from the photographs taken from surveillance footage, News 9 reported.
According to the outlet, Gettler's parents recognized the damage on the driver's side of the vehicle in the footage, further stating it was caused by an earlier car accident, which is why he had to enter from the passenger side.
Gettler's parents provided officers with their son's cell phone number, and investigators were able to determine that his phone was in the area during the time of the incident, according to News 9.
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