BRADENTON (FOX 13) - A Manatee county family fought back against a man they say tried luring a little girl into his car. The attempted abduction played out as the 10-year-old walked to a friend's house. That's when officials say a mystery man pulled up and tried taking her away.
“I feel pain but really grateful that nothing serious really, really happened,” said the girl’s mother, Juanita Aponte.
Aponte says she knows what played out in her Bradenton neighborhood Sunday afternoon, could have easily ended with the disappearance of her daughter or someone else’s.
“The same way he did that to my kid he could do that to another kid,” she said.
Aponte explains her 10-year-old girl was walking in the neighborhood, when all of a sudden the little girl came rushing back home and described how someone in a car tried to take her.
“He lowered his window and he was opening the door and he told her 'Hey pretty girl would you like to get in the truck?'”
So Aponte and her sister went to check it out, they say they found this man Rolando Bautista sitting in his car.
“You don't tell a 10 year old oh get in my truck like that and yes I’m going to get mad I don't even know who you are,” said Aponte.
She says Bautista drove off, but the family wasn't going to let the alleged abductor off the hook so easily. They followed him to a nearby parking lot.
“They were holding the keys so he won't leave in the truck he was trying to walk away but they were holding him like you ain't going to leave nowhere,” she said.
Deputies arrived and arrested Bautista. Officials say the 35-year-old admitted he did talk to the child, but claims he didn’t ask her to get in his car.
“We don't know what his intentions were but obviously when you have something like this you think the worst,” said Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dave Bristow.
Aponte says while the ordeal has been stressful on her daughter, she's happy for the way her child handled herself against a potentially dangerous stranger.
“It could have been worse but thank God she's here,” said Aponte.
Bautista is now charged with misdemeanor child luring.