Man arrested for allegedly trying to kidnap girl attending school in Salt Lake City

The 53-year-old suspect was charged with attempted child abduction.

(Photo provided by Salt Lake City Police Department) A man was arrested Tuesday after attempting to kidnap a 12-year-old girl who was walking to school, Salt Lake City Police said.

A man was arrested Tuesday after trying to kidnap a 12-year-old girl who was walking to school, according to Salt Lake City police.

Around 9:30 a.m., the girl was walking to Liberty Elementary School, which is west of Liberty Park, when the man in a dark-colored GMC pickup pulled up. He offered her money and asked if she needed a ride. When she said no and walked away, police said the man had “driven towards the girl – to prevent the girl from leaving the area”.

The girl then ran away and the driver drove away. She told a trusted adult what happened when she got to school, and school officials contacted the police.

SLCPD sent out a description of the truck and the suspect, and officers located him in his truck near 550 West and 200 South.

The suspect, who police said was 53-year-old Jose Arquimides Manzanarez Munoz, was then arrested. He was charged with attempted child abduction.

SLCPD also shared the following advice to parents to protect their children from such incidents:

  • Never talk to strangers – If a stranger approaches a child or teenager, teach them to say “No!” and run to a safe place to report the incident.

  • Use the Buddy System – Encourage children and teens to be outside with a friend or family member.

  • Be aware of your surroundings – Tell children and young people to be aware of their surroundings. Encourage them not to be distracted by personal devices and headphones/earbuds that may prevent them from seeing or hearing anyone approaching them.

  • Trust Your Instincts – Remind kids and teens that it’s okay to trust their instincts. If they are ever in an uncomfortable situation, they should report it to a trusted adult immediately.

This article is published by the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of Utah news organizations dedicated to educating readers across the state.

Justin Scaccy

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