Man tried to kidnap teen at bus stop: police

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SAN DIEGO — Police arrested a man suspected of trying to kidnap a 17-year-old girl in the North Park neighborhood last month.

Around 7:15 a.m. on May 31, 38-year-old Thomas Luis Salas approached the girl at a bus stop near 30th Street and El Cajon Boulevard, according to San Diego police. Salas left his metallic light blue 2011 Ford Escape running with the door open while he made casual conversation with the girl. He extended his hand and when the girl went to shake it, he grabbed her arm and pulled her toward his SUV. The girl fought back and ran away.

“The victim had the presence of mind to fight back and resist his attempts to pull her and run away from the scene and ultimately returned to her mother,” said Lt. Charles Lara of the San Diego Police Department.

Detectives conducted an investigation and identified Salas as the suspect. He was arrested on suspicion of attempted kidnapping and his bail was set at $750,000.

Police say Salas may have approached other women, particularly young girls, with his phone out, attempting to engage them in conversation. Anyone who has information about Salas or believes they have been approached by him should call SDPD Detective Deanna Mora at 6198-516-3066 or Detective Sergeant Don Williams at 619-516-3006.

Salas is described as a Hispanic man, 5’9″, 220 pounds with a heavy build. He was unshaven with a goatee and his eyes have a squinty or “sleepy” appearance. He has a large tattoo on his right arm of a cartoon face inside of a “sunburst” or “flame” design.

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