INDIO – A Desert Hot Springs man who allegedly offered teenage girls money to get into his car was ordered today to stand trial on charges of lewd acts with a child and child annoyance.
Daniel Hernandez, 21, was arrested last March after two teenage girls claimed he approached them and offered them money to get into his car.
The girls told police they were walking through Mission Springs Park on their way to school when Hernandez spoke to them, but they refused, walked away and called police, according to Sgt. Gus Paiz.
Officers searched the area but were unable to find him, but the girls helped investigators develop a composite sketch.
The following day, one of the girls saw Hernandez in the same car, a tan four-door Honda, near the area of the original incident, Paiz said.
Officers were called to the area of Dillon Road and Palm Drive, where Hernandez was stopped and arrested. He was also positively identified by the girl, according to police.
Local law enforcement and the girls, who were attending a Palm Springs Unified School District school, were praised by then-Superintendent Christine Anderson.
“We are so appreciative of the efforts of our local law enforcement officials who took these reports extremely seriously and dedicated themselves to apprehending the suspect,” she said. “…We also commend the students, who reported these incidents to school officials and police, for their courage and assistance in providing accurate descriptions and helping to ensure the safety
of their peers. Safety is a team effort between students, staff, law enforcement and our community.”
Hernandez, who remains held on $55,000 bail, will return to court Aug. 7 for a post-preliminary hearing arraignment.