San Diego

Trial Date Set for Pair Accused of Attempting to Kidnap Encinitas Teen

A trial date has been set for two men accused of trying to kidnap a 15-year-old girl while she was waxing her surfboard in Encinitas were ordered to stand trial in court Thursday, NBC San Diego confirmed Friday.

Christopher White, 27, and Jeremiah Owens, 28, face felony charges for kidnapping and assault with intent to commit rape, as well as false imprisonment and a lewd act against a child, according to the San Diego County District Attorney.

The trial is set for April 9. If convicted, both men face nine years in state prison, each.

Owens was accused of directly attacking the teen on Neptune Avenue near Avocado Street, while White waited in a truck across the street. 

The teen was able to fight off the man and escape into the house, locking the door behind her.

The victim was able to escape before a sexual assault was carried out, Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens said. But suspects attacked her with the intention to commit a lewd act with a minor, which carries sexual assault charges. he said.

Other witnesses had reported the suspects for leering at their 13-year-old daughter in a previous incident, according to the D.A.'s office.

Less than an hour before the attack, some other witnesses noticed the men acting suspiciously sitting in a truck across from the driveway and recorded a video of them, prosecutors said.

White does not have a previous criminal record, but Owens does have two prior convictions for a DUI and disturbing the peace, prosecutors said. 

NBC 7
Deputies surrounded a suspicious blue truck in Cardiff.

Deputies arrested Owens and White on July 28, two days after the alleged crime.

In the week following the attempted kidnapping, neighbors distributed surveillance photos that appeared to match the suspects' truck. The truck was spotted in Cardiff, not far away from the attack just days later, and both men were arrested.

Community involvement helped lead to the suspects' speedy arrests, San Diego sheriff's spokesperson said.

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