A San Diego man was arrested in Baxter, Iowa, Tuesday after he posed as an actor from the popular film franchise “Twilight” and allegedly tried to lure a 14-year-old girl into his car, officials confirmed.
Newton, Iowa, police said David Lavera, 33, is facing one count of enticement as well as weapons charges. Police found two swords and several daggers in his car, WHOtv, a Des Moines NBC affiliate reported.
According to WHOtv, Lavera pretended to be Hollywood actor Kiowa Gordon, known for his role as Embry Call in the “Twilight” movies and started communicating with a teenage girl on social media.
On Tuesday, Lavera went to Baxter in an attempt to lure the teen girl into his car, but a friend of the teen's mother stopped him, quickly getting the girl out of his vehicle. WHOtv reported that Lavera then sped off, but was caught by police minutes later and charged with the aforementioned counts.
According to WHOtv, police had contact with Lavera before Tuesday's incident after he allegedly tried to lure another teen in Newton, Iowa, 14-year-old Raven Adams.
In that case, the two became friends on social media and eventually met face-to-face. That teen also believed Lavera was a famous actor from "Twilight."
That teen said Lavera took her on a walk at a park and then asked her to sneak out of her home later that night, after her parents went to sleep, because he wanted to kiss her, WHOtv reported.
Adams reported the incident to police, who told Lavera to stay away from children.
Prior to his arrest, Lavera’s act as a Hollywood movie star was so convincing that two schools in Newton fell for his trick.
Lavera was introduced at Adams’ school as the “Twilight” actor and was even invited to perform in front of students at an assembly. He was also invited to a school-sponsored 8th grade pool party.
The ordeal left Raven’s mother, Tammy Adams, extremely frightened for her daughter’s safety. WHOtv spoke with Tammy who believes the school put children at risk by inviting Lavera onto their campus without a proper background check.
“I’m scared. Raven’s scared,” she told the Iowa station. “She’s scared he's gonna come find her. And you don’t know. I mean, this guy had weapons in his car. I mean, what was he gonna do?”
Newton police said they want to talk with anyone who’s had contact with Lavera over the past few weeks since he did have access to hundreds of kids who truly believed he was a movie star.
On Thursday the real Kiowa Gordon posted a couple of messages on his Twitter page about the incident involving Lavera. The tweets read:
My heart goes out to their families and anyone else who has been deceived or hurt by his actions. — Kiowa Gordon (@CircaKiGordon) June 12, 2014
I am deeply saddened that there is a person out there trying to impersonate me and do harm to young girls. — Kiowa Gordon (@CircaKiGordon) June 12, 2014