Man sentenced for trying to kidnap 15-year-old girl in Encinitas

SAN DIEGO – A man who admitted trying to abduct a 15-year-old girl in front of her Encinitas home so he could rape her was sentenced to prison Monday.

Jeremiah Owens was sentenced to seven years in prison with credit for the time he has served since he was arrested last July.

Owens and his accomplice, Christopher White, admitted to trying to kidnap a 15-year-old girl near Grandview Surf Beach in Encinitas on July 26. 2017. The girl was waxing her surfboard in front of her family's home on Neptune Avenue in Encinitas about 5:30 p.m. when Owens grabbed her from behind, tackled her and pinned her to the ground. As Owens was dragging her toward a pickup where White was waiting, the girl was able to break free, run into her home and lock the door. The men drove off.

Following the attack, tips poured into the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department from the tight-knit community of Leucadia. Neighbors who had noticed the men acting suspiciously not only provided descriptions but cell phone video that led to the suspects’ arrests. Deputies pulled White over and took him into custody in Encinitas after a witness reported seeing a pickup matching a description of the one used in the kidnapping attempt. Authorities arrested Owens several hours later in Escondido.

White, who pleaded guilty to being an accessory in the kidnapping attempt, is scheduled to be sentenced June 19.

The Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens spoke on behalf of the now 16-year-old victim in court.

“She hopes Mr. Owens in the future understands that you cannot commit a crime like this against any woman and anyone for that matter, that she is hopeful that he understands now that he’s being held accountable for what he did in this case, that he never commits any future offense,” said Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens.

The victim and her family were present during the sentencing. They declined to comment however the victim’s father, who only wanted to go by his first name, says although Owens will spend 7 years behind bars, his family’s sense of security will forever be shaken.

“Thank God we got her back, thank God nothing horrific happened but it's just the thoughts haunt us, just a lot of things still haunt us,” said Rick, the victim's father. “You don’t want this to happen to anybody. Parents' worst kind of nightmare when we found out about it.”