San Diego

North Park Bus Stop Kidnapping Suspect Molested Another Teen: DA

A man accused of trying to kidnap a teenager at a North Park bus stop last month is accused of molesting another teenager and recording part of the incident, the District Attorney's Office confirmed.

San Diego police arrested 38-year-old Thomas Luis Salas on Tuesday. 

The San Diego Police Department said he pulled up to the bus stop on the southeast corner of 30th Street and El Cajon Boulevard at around 7:15 a.m. on May 31 and approached a 17-year-old girl on her way to school.

He made conversation with the teen and offered her a handshake. When she went to shake his hand, Salas grabbed the girl's arm and tried pulling her into his running SUV, SDPD said.

Police said the teen fought back and was able to run away. Officers responded to the scene and eventually identified Salas as a suspect then arrested him.

After his arrest, investigators searched Salas's phone and found evidence of other potential crimes.

Deputy District Attorney Zachary Wallace told NBC 7 Salas approached a teenager walking on the street and aggressively hit on her and asked her for her social media contacts.

Wallace said Salas's advances continued even after the victim told him she was only 17 and in high school. According to Wallace, Salas gave the victim a hug and grabbed her breast.

A portion of the interaction was recorded by Salas on his phone.

Salas pleaded not guilty to attempted kidnapping charges, and to annoying and molesting a minor at his arraignment on Wednesday. At the hearing, a judge increased his bail to $1 million and deemed him a danger to the community.

SDPD is asking anyone who knows of potential victims to call SDPD Mid-City Division detectives Sgt. Don Williams (619-516-3006) or Deanna Mora (619-516-3066).

Salas is described as 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 220 pounds. He was unshaven with a goatee at the time of the attempted kidnapping, according to SDPD.

Police described him as having "squinty" eyes, or a "sleepy appearance." Salas has a tattoo on his right arm of a cartoon face inside a "sunburst" or "flame" design, SDPD said.

Investigators believe Salas may have approached and tried to start conversation with other young women.

No other information was available.

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