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Sheriff: Attempted kidnapping suspect told boy he was cute, tried to get him into car

By Bob Hazen

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    ORLANDO (WESH) — A man accused of attempting to kidnap a child in Orange County on Monday is expected to face a judge Wednesday.

Vinh Nguyen, 37, was arrested on charges of false imprisonment, luring of a child and battery.

Officials say they say they got a tip from someone who recognized the man from a video released to the public, and the suspect lives right around the corner.

Deputies say the tip helped, along with a report they got last year that Nguyen had offered a ride to a 13-year-old.

Investigators say in this week’s incident, Nguyen stopped a boy walking to Azalea Park Elementary, pinched his cheeks, told him he was cute, then offered him a ride to school.

The boy refused and reported it to his school.

The sheriff’s office says when they questioned Nguyen, he said he’d seen the child walking several times and admitted he called him cute, and did ask him to get in his car.

Detectives say Nguyen told them he only planned to drive the boy to school, nothing else, and that he didn’t think he did anything wrong.

WESH 2 spoke to parents, walking their own kids to school, who were very upset about it.

“That is really scary to know that, because I take her to school every day, I just– Oh my gosh,” Tyree Sandy said.

“I keep an eye out for other kids because I know a lot of parents don’t have that luxury, even if they would like to,” Samantha Gaugler said.

In a recorded call that went out to parents, the Azalea Park Elementary school principal gave some additional advice.

“Please talk to your children about stranger danger, remind them to be aware of their surroundings, and walk or bike to school in groups,” the school’s principal said.

Detectives believe Nguyen may have tried to approach other children and they encourage any other victims to come forward.

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