RIVERSIDE – A parolee who attempted to snatch a 12-year-old girl on a Moreno Valley street was sentenced today to 10 years in prison.
Jonathan Perez, 23, was arrested on July 24 after he tried to abduct a child in the 23000 block of Alessandro Boulevard, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
The two-strike felon pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping on Aug. 9.
Under an agreement negotiated with the District Attorney’s Office, Perez was offered a lower-term sentence than he might have otherwise faced had the case gone to a jury.
Superior Court Judge Becky Dugan imposed a five-year prison term for the offense and doubled the sentence based on one of defendant’s prior strikes, for a total of 10 years behind bars.
The victim, whose identity was not released, told authorities that she was walking along Alessandro about 11 a.m. when a bicyclist approached her, identifying himself as a member of the local neighborhood watch. The girl said the suspect began to ask her a number of personal questions, and she became uncomfortable, backing away from him.
”The male attempted to hand her something, and she began to run away,” sheriff’s Sgt. James Rayls said earlier. ”The male chased her down on foot and grabbed her from behind. The victim began screaming loudly and struggled with the suspect, striking him with her elbows.”
The child broke free of the man’s grasp, fleeing toward a nearby pedestrian, who called 911.
A description of the man was broadcast to deputies in the area, and an anti-gang investigator working in the vicinity began looking for him, Rayls said. Moments later, the deputy spotted Perez and arrested him without incident.
The girl was not injured.