• Man arrested for trying to kidnap 9-year-old girl from Harry Potter ride at Universal, police say

    By: Kevin Williams

    Updated:

    A 23-year-old man is accused of trying to kidnap a 9-year-old girl from a Harry Potter attraction at Universal, according to Orlando police.

    Officers said Jason Mikel, of Minooka, Illinois, approached the 9-year-old girl Sunday around 3:45 p.m. in a locker room area of the Forbidden Journey ride. 

    The girl told officers a man grabbed her shoulders and told her to go outside to her mother. A witness told police she overheard the man tell the girl, "Mommy was over here." 


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    According to police, the witness said the girl broke free from the man and ran over to her mother. The girl's mother told police she lost sight of her daughter for only a brief moment.

    Police said the man ran away from the Forbidden Journey ride. The witness who saw the encounter told park employees, who then followed him to the Hogwarts Express train ride, where he appeared to fall while running away. Mikel was detained by a police sergeant working at the park.

    Mikel, who is charged with battery, attempted kidnapping and marijuana possession, appeared in court Monday. A judge gave prosecutors 24 hours to file another report after a defense attorney said there wasn't enough evidence to to charge Mikel with kidnapping.

    Mikel is being held without bond. He was also issued a trespass warning for all Universal Studios properties, police said.


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