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Arrest Made in Attempted Kidnapping of Teen Girl

A Santa Maria man is facing charges of attempted kidnapping and sexual battery following an incident this week involving a teenage girl, according to Santa Maria police.

Felipe Cruz
Felipe Cruz

Felipe Cruz, 25, was arrested at his residence in connection with the incident, which occurred about 10 p.m. Wednesday on North Broadway near Taylor Street, Sgt. Eligio Lara said.

A 16-year-old girl was walking with two female friends — ages 20 and 15 — when Cruz allegedly drove past them several times, then parked his car and walked up behind them.

“He grabbed the victim's buttock with one hand, and grabbed the victim around the shoulder and chest with the other hand,” Lara said. “The females fought Cruz and ran away.”

The victim provided officers with the license of the white Honda Accord the suspect had been driving, which led to Cruz’s arrest.

The incident does not appear to be connected to a series of groping incidents in the area of the Santa Maria River Levee, Lara said.

Cruz was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail.

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