Pine Hills man lures young child into home, police say

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ORLANDO, Fla. —

Parents in an Orange County neighborhood are keeping a closer eye on their children after investigators said a man tried to use money to lure a young child into his apartment.

John Estime is being held in the Orange County Jail as investigators work to determine what his motivation might have been.

Police said he grabbed a 9-year-old boy around the neck at the Emerald Villas apartment complex off Pine Hills Road earlier this week.

A judge increased Estime’s bond five times during his first court appearance.

Investigators said around 7 p.m. Sunday the little boy was walking to his friend’s house and the suspect offered him $1, but the boy refused.

Police said that’s when the Estime reportedly grabbed the boy by the neck and brought him into his apartment.

The boy eventually broke free.

Parents who live nearby were unsettled by the allegations.

Orange County’s Sex Crimes Unit is investigating the case.

Friend’s at Estime’s apartment complex came to his defense and said Estime would never do anything to hurt a child.

But in court, a judge was concerned enough to increase Estime’s bond.

“I’m not really all that thrilled about a $5,000 bond. I’m going to increase that to $25,000,” the judge said.

Estime’s criminal record shows he’s been arrested on drug and domestic violence charges in the past seven years, but never in connection with crimes against a child.