ST. CLOUD — Parents have long warned their kids not to accept offers of a ride from strangers.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office says a St. Cloud man got arrested on Thursday after he demonstrated just how dangerous a man with a truck — and, as it turns out, a screwdriver — can be.
On Aug. 30, Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Randall Martin and charged him with two counts of attempted kidnapping and three counts of aggravated assault, after they say he tried to force two teenage girls into his truck.
Twis Lizasuain, the public information officer for the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, said around 8:40 p.m. on Thursday, deputies got a call about an incident involving the driver of a truck who was harassing, and following, two girls who had been swimming in a public pool.
The deputies responded to 5150 Boggy Creek Road in St. Cloud, where they met with the two teenagers, ages 15 and 19.
The girls said they were swimming at their RV park’s community pool when they noticed a man, later identified as Martin, watching them. Uncomfortable about the attention they were getting. the girls decided to leave.
But as they did, the stranger followed them.
“When they were walking home, Martin drove up to them and asked them if they wanted a ride home,” Lizasuain noted in her report on the case. “Both girls told him no.”
Deputies say Randall did not take no for an answer.
“He demanded they get in his truck,” Lizasuain said, and then “attempted to grab one of the girls and pulled out a screwdriver.”
Despite the threat, the girls managed to run off, unharmed, Lizasuain said.
But that wasn’t the end of it. Martin, she said, trailed the girls to their home.
“The girls went home and as they were telling one of the dads about the incident, Martin drove up,” Lizasuain noted. He even got into an argument then “physical altercation” with the father, she noted.
“The father was not injured during the incident,” Lizasuain said.
After deputies took the girls’ report, they did a search of the area and located Martin a short time later in the neighborhood.
Based on the victim’s statements and evidence that deputies collected at the scene, Martin, 46, of 5150 Boggy Creek Road, St. Cloud, was booked into the Osceola County Jail.
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