PASADENA, (KTRK) --Just hours after a teen girl was targeted in an attempted kidnapping, Pasadena police made an arrest in the case.
At about 2pm Tuesday, police dispatch received a call from a distraught 17-year-old girl who said she had been the victim of an attempted abduction while she was walking home from school.
"He got next to me, and he first offered $100 to get in his truck, and I refused of course, and he kept following me," said the 17-year-old, who did not want to be identified.
She says the man persisted.
"He said if I didn't get in the truck he was going to make me, that's when he started to approach me," she said.
As the girl began walking faster, 32-year-old Salvador Avalos allegedly pulled his vehicle over and began to get out. The girl immediately ran into the Pasadena Heritage Museum, where she called police.
Lucy Turoff, a museum assistant, was inside.
"She (teen girl) was amazing," Turoff said. "Although she was excited and she was scared, she had managed to get the license plate."
The detailed description and license plate number helped police locate Avalos. Police found him just a few hours later, driving through the same neighborhood in a white Lincoln Navigator.
Police said they found duct tape inside the vehicle.
"He just said he was trying to get a date," said Pasadena Police Assistant Chief Josh Bruegger.
Avalos is charged with attempted kidnapping, and police are asking others to contact them if they have had run-ins with the suspect.
"Nobody drives around with rope and welded doors, so I know this isn't his first time," the teen said.
As for the young woman in the middle of the saga, she recently enlisted in the Marines. As a thank you gesture to Turoff, she gave her the Bible she was awarded.
"She's extraordinary, it kind of gives you hope for this world," said Turoff.
"I just deducted the risk of this happening to somebody else," said the future Marine. "I know he was probably going to get another girl."