Man accused of trying to kidnap teenager gets $75K bond, may be linked to similar cases

by: Mike Springer Updated:

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A man accused of trying to kidnap a 16-year-old girl on Thursday while she was walking to her bus stop in Ponce Inlet faced a judge Friday.

A judge set a $75,000 bond for the suspect. 

 

 

Jonethan Buchanan, 26, is charged with kidnapping and battery. Ponce Inlet police said he put his hand around the girl’s mouth and grabbed her rear end at about 6 a.m. along South Peninsula Drive near Anchor Drive.

Police said the girl bit the man’s hand, was able to break free and ran off screaming.

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Watch the arresting officer's body-camera footage below:

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Watch: Perp walk of Volusia County kidnapping suspect

“He got out of his car and tried to put me in his car,” the girl said in a 911 call. “He tried to cover my mouth, but I screamed. And he pushed me down, and he got in his car and ran.”

Police said Buchanan was driving over 70 mph when he was pulled over with his pants down and unzipped. Investigators said they found lotion and a teddy bear in his car.

In body-camera footage of the traffic stop, a police officer asked why Buchanan’s pants were unbuttoned and pulled down.

Watch: Ponce Inlet police chief on suspect's arrest

Read: Police: Man behind bars after brazen attempt to kidnap teen in Volusia County

“So your pants don't fit?” the officer said in the recording. “Is that why they are unbuttoned?”

“Yeah, they're too tight,” Buchanan said. “I've been gaining a lot of weight lately.”

When an officer asked him where he was traveling from, they said he provided two different beach lotions.

Read: Parents on edge after girl says masked people tried to kidnap her at bus stop

Ponce Inlet police said it may not be Buchanan’s first time approaching children.

In the summer of 2015, Billy Bedson said a man drove up and asked his neighbor's teen daughter for sex, so she hid in her Ormond Beach driveway and called 911.

“She was shaking like a leaf,” he said.

Bedson followed the man and took pictures of his license plate while he was on the phone with 911.

He said the stranger didn't notice.

“Even when I was driving, he wasn't looking around. He wasn't

flying around he was just driving,” said Bedson.

Ormond Beach police said the license plate and the victim's description matched Buchanan.

The only charge that applied in the case, however, was lewd and lascivious conduct, and that only involves victims under 16.

So police decided not to move forward with an arrest.

Five years before that, Port Orange police investigated a case where a young boy and girl claimed Buchanan touched them inappropriately while they were swimming.

Buchanan denied it, but Port Orange police could not explain why no arrests were made. The case is still active.

Read: Police: Man tried to lure girl into car in Belleview