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Deputies: man tried to lure girl into his vehicle

By Staff | May 22, 2015

A Fort Myers man is under arrest after deputies say he tried to lure a 12-year-old girl into his vehicle.

Deputies were called to the area of New York Drive and Railroad Avenue shortly after 7 this morning. The victim stated she was walking to her school bus stop when a Hispanic male with short curly hair in a red, older model vehicle waved to her and said “get in the car and I’ll give you $20.” The girl ran home and the vehicle took off. When the girl arrived at her home, her parent called 9-1-1.

The victim was able to give deputies 5 of the 6 numbers to the license plate. A Lee County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher began running different sequences to the tag number and came up with the car matching the victim’s description. Deputies canvassing the area were quickly able to locate the suspect as he parked and was in the process of exiting his burgundy Honda Accord. The victim was brought to the scene and positively identified the man as the one that tried to lure her into his vehicle.

Deputies arrested Pablo Cartagena (DOB 10-27-79) of 4045 Madison Ave., Fort Myers, and charged him with Interference of Child Custody for trying to entice a minor to get into his vehicle through coercion.

“This is an excellent example of teamwork,” says Capt. Mike Miller with the Youth Services Division. “From the victim getting a partial tag number, to the expedient work of our dispatcher and deputies in the area, we were able to converge on the suspect before he had a chance to escape.”