DUNEDIN (FOX 13) - The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has made an arrest in an attempted abduction of an 8-year-old-boy.
Jeff Mills, 53, was arrested by deputies and charged with one count of luring a child and two counts of simple battery stemming from two separate incidents on Friday.
Investigators say Mills told the 8-year-old that he worked with the child's father and that he wanted him to pick him up. Deputies say Mills stopped the vehicle and possibly attempted to grab the victim. The child was able to run home and tell his parents.
Detectives were able to identify Mills thanks to tips from residents in the area, residents who are breathing a sigh of relief.
"Very relieved that they caught him," said the victim's father, who has asked to only be identified as David.
"He's doing OK," he added. "It's been rough."
The encounter with the 8-year-old isn't the only incident Mills is facing charges for. On Friday, Mills admitted to deputies that he hugged a pair of 12-year-old boys without their permission, but denied trying to abduct the 8-year-old.
"Denied saying that he knew the child's father, denied that he was supposed to pick him up, and also denied getting out of the vehicle when speaking to the 8-year-old," Deputy Jessica Mackesy said during a news conference Sunday afternoon.
The child's father is standing by what his son said.
"He wouldn't be terrified like that for no reason."
While an arrest has been made, David says he is still feeling a little uneasy.
"I mean the guy lives in the area, so it's kind of scary."