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Willmar man charged with kidnapping after trying to abduct girl

WILLMAR -- Jesus Diaz, 74, of Willmar was charged with felony kidnapping and false imprisonment after he allegedly tried to pull a 10-year-old girl into the men's restroom Wednesday afternoon at the Willmar Target.

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Jesus Diaz
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WILLMAR - Jesus Diaz, 74, of Willmar was charged with felony kidnapping and false imprisonment after he allegedly tried to pull a 10-year-old girl into the men's restroom Wednesday afternoon at the Willmar Target.

Diaz made his first court appearance Friday in Kandiyohi County District Court.

Bail was set at $200,000 with no conditions or $100,000 with conditions. Those conditions include having no contact with people under the age of 18.

According to the court documents, the girl told law enforcement that Diaz was exiting the men's restroom as she was headed to the women's restroom to check on another individual. Diaz held out his hand, and the girl said she thought he was going to shake her hand, so she put her hand out.

Diaz shook the girl's hand and then pulled her toward him kind of hard, the girl reported, and tried to pull her into the men's restroom. The girl said she was able to get her hand back and ran to the adult she was with, but said she said nothing because she was too scared.

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The girl said she had never seen Diaz before and he did not make any threats or touch her anywhere else.

The adult with the girl reported Diaz walked past her and said something in Spanish to her regarding the women's restroom.

A store employee reported witnessing what happened between Diaz and the girl. The court documents said the employee spoke to law enforcement over the phone and said he had a clear view of the hallway where the restrooms are located in the store. According to the documents, the employee reported a short, Hispanic male was pulling a young girl into the bathroom and the girl was pulling back.

The employee said he approached the male and asked him what was going on. The employee said the man minimized what was happening and walked away, saying something to the adult with the girl as he passed by.

Diaz was still in the parking lot when law enforcement arrived, and he spoke to the officer through an interpreter. The court documents said Diaz told the officers he went to use the bathroom and that there were no children around.

Diaz was arrested and transported to the Kandiyohi County Jail.

In 2011, Diaz was convicted of a felony charge of false imprisonment after he tried to lure three young girls into his vehicle as they were walking home from school. Diaz was sentenced to 30 days in jail,a $1,000 fine and four years of probation in the case.

Diaz's next court appearance is Aug. 8.

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email slindrud@wctrib.com or direct 320-214-4373.


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