Frankfort man arrested after allegedly kidnapping 12-year-old near Shelby County East Middle School
Authorities say 21-year-old Charles F. Smith had been communicating with the girl on social media when they arranged to meet because the student "wanted someone to talk to."
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Shelby County Sheriff's Office has arrested a man after he allegedly kidnapped a 12-year-old girl.
According to an arrest report, it happened Tuesday at 9 a.m., across the street from Shelby County East Middle School, near the intersection of Rocket Lane and Benson Pike.
Authorities say 21-year-old Charles F. Smith had been communicating with the girl on social media, when they arranged to meet. According to the arrest report, the girl hid inside Shelby County East Middle School, and then ran out of the school and across Benson Pike, to a greenhouse that is just across the street.
The sheriff's office says the girl waited at the greenhouse for Smith to show up.
Authorities say Smith eventually picked her up in his vehicle, then "took off with her from school property."
Eventually, the girl's parents -- as well as representatives of law enforcement -- began to call the girl on her phone. That's when, police say, both Smith and the juvenile became scared.
"Once they felt like and realized parents, school, law enforcement are all looking for them they decided it was just best she get out of the vehicle," said Major Jason Rice with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.
Smith dropped the girl off on the side of the road, near Guist Creek Lake, before driving back to his home in Frankfort, police say.
The girl was eventually picked up by law enforcement and taken back to Shelby County East Middle School, where she was reunited with a parent, and school officials.
"She stated she was dealing with some things and emotions and wanted someone to talk to," Rice said.
Through the investigation Rice said Smith has no past criminal history with minors or sex crimes. He believes the meeting was innocent in nature.
"Just because there wasn't any ill intentions on this occasion doesn't mean that this is a completely bad idea for an adult to go pick up a young (girl) -- we're talking 12 years of age," Rice said.
Smith was arrested a few hours later by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.
According to Rice, the student knew Smith through her older brother. Rice says the two communicated for a couple of months on Facebook before arranging for Smith to pick her up.
He is charged with kidnapping a minor, a Class B felony. If convicted, he could face 10 to 20 years in prison.
School and law enforcement officials say its a good reminder for parents talk with their children about the dangers of online predators. They say it's a good idea for parents to be friends with their children on Facebook, Intsagram, Twitter and other sites.
"We encourage parents to be as involved as possible in the lives of their children, especially when it comes to social media," said Ryan Allan with Shelby County Public Schools.
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