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Santa Maria Teen Arrested on Suspicion of Sexual Assault, Kidnapping

NIcholas Padilla Click to view larger
NIcholas Padilla

An 18-year-old Santa Maria man was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and sexual assault Wednesday after allegedly attacking a 15-year-old girl in his vehicle and attempting to push her into his trunk, authorities said. 

Nicholas Padilla was booked into the Lompoc Jail on $1 million bail on suspicion of kidnapping, sexual assault with the intent to commit rape, domestic violence and criminal threats, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said. 

Authorities said Padilla was driving on West Main Street Wednesday around 2:30 p.m. with a 15-year-old girl, who knew each other, and Padilla allegedly became angry with the girl, pulled the car over and started hitting her with his hands. 

A witness called 9-1-1 and "Padilla then drove away with the teen's feet sticking out of the passenger's side window," Hoover said in a statement. 

Padilla then allegedly stopped the car near Casmalia and held a knife to the girl's head, and attempted to rape her, according to the sheriff's department. 

Authorities also said Padilla attempted to force the girl inside the vehicle's trunk, but she was able to escape and run toward the witness who had called 9-1-1 and followed the suspect vehicle, Hoover said. 

Deputies responded and Padilla was arrested "after a brief struggle with law enforcement," Hoover said. 

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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