SANTA ANA, Calif. - An Anaheim man was charged with kidnapping Tuesday after allegedly trying to abduct a teenage girl walking home from school last month, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.
Thirty-year-old Andrew Giovanni Pio of Anaheim was arrested over the weekend, but was not charged until Tuesday, according to officials. Pio is accused of trying to abduct a 13-year-old girl who was walking home from school last month. According to the DA's office he's also accused of sexually assaulting another teenager in Riverside County.
The incident occurred on March 31. Pio allegedly pushing the girl into the open passenger door of a while pickup truck when she walked past. According to police, bystanders saw the girl kicking and screaming and confronted him. Pio allegedly took the girl's cell phone before pushing her out of the car and driving away.
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"A man grabbing an innocent girl off the street and throwing her into a truck in broad daylight is the stuff of every parent’s nightmares," said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. "This brave little girl fought with everything she had and that will to survive combined with the bystanders who heard her screams and came to her rescue prevented this nightmare from becoming an even greater tragedy. Thankfully, this little girl escaped and got to go home to her family."
About a week after the incident, on April 8, police saw a man driving a pickup truck matching the suspect vehicle description in the city of Brea. When officers tried to pull the man over, a police chase ensued.
The chase lasted almost an hour, with the suspect traveling along the 57 and 5 freeways. The chase eventually ended on the 5 Freeway near the La Paz Road offramp.
Pio was arrested at the end of a pursuit.
Pio has been charged with one felony count of kidnapping to commit a sex offense, one felony count of assault of a minor with the intent to commit a sexual offense, one felony count of a lewd act on a child, one felony count of second-degree robbery, and one misdemeanor count of evading a peace officer, according to the OC DA's office. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole if convicted.
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