Police Arrest Suspect in Teen Girl's Attempted Abduction

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCSanDiego
    Cops Arrest Suspect in Attempted Kidnapping

    A GPS tracking unit was no match for one registered sex offender.

    Leonard Earl Scroggins, 32, is listed on the Megan’s Law website as a Napa resident who has served time for rape.

    Now, police want to know why Scroggins was in National City police Wednesday without his GPS ankle device.

    “From his actions, it appears he was on the attack,” Sgt. Mike Harlan with National City police said Thursday.

    Scroggins is now in custody, facing charges for the attempted kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl at knifepoint on 16th Street near Q Avenue.

    The girl was walking home alone from National City Middle School for the first time -- she usually walks with friends -- when a man in a dark-gray van pulled up near her. She said the man got out and then grabbed her around the neck while holding a knife.

    The teen said the man told her, "Get in the car or I'll cut you," but she said she fought him off, cutting her finger in the process.

    "I gave him an elbow hit, and then I screamed, 'Let me go!' " the girl said.

    The teenager said the man then fled in the van and she ran home and called police.

    "I was really scared," the girl said. "I wasn't really processing what was going on ... until I'm like, 'This is really happening.' "

    “She knew not to get into the car,” Harlan said. “She did everything she could and that’s why she survived.”

    Later in the afternoon, police identified Scroggins, a convicted sex offender who is also a person of interest in a pending sex assault case in Napa, as a suspect in the attempted kidnapping.

    Scroggins was arrested Wednesday night at Kimball Park after a short pursuit. Police said Scroggins had removed a GPS tracking device from his ankle Tuesday night.

    He is also suspected of stealing a woman's purse earlier on Wednesday, according to investigators, who said the woman got Scroggins' license plate number as he fled. The National City teen reported the attack less than two hours later.

    “Having that license plate proved critical to solving this case,” said Harlan. “Being vigilant and observant like that, with that critical piece of information like that, is what solved this case.”

    The girl had minor abrasions on her neck as well but did not appear to be seriously injured otherwise.

    Scroggins faces robbery charges for the first purse snatch and attempted kidnapping charges and is also a wanted parole offender.