|Published:||Apr 26, 2012 3:32 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Apr 26, 2012 11:28 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla.- Fort Myers Police Department arrested 62-year-old Pedro Miguel Martinez-Leon, of Fort Myers, Wednesday for one count of luring and enticing a child.
On Monday, at 7:00 p.m. the Fort Myers Police Department received a complaint in reference to a suspicious person. A mother claimed that her 11-year-old son was followed by a stranger. She reported that the incident took place the day prior, on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. Police learned that the boy was walking through a gas station parking lot located in the 3500 block of Fowler Street when he saw a man standing next to a blue van looking at him in a way that made him feel uncomfortable. The boy then walked to a nearby relative’s house for safety, but the relative wasn’t home. The boy said the man followed him in the van. He further stated that the stranger got out of the van, approached him and made obscene gestures. The boy ran home. The boy gave police a detailed description of the suspect’s van and told police the driver was an older white male of Hispanic decent.
On Tuesday, detectives began canvassing the area for the van. Detectives located it at 2135 Grace Avenue and learned it belonged to Martinez-Leon. After media coverage of the incident, police received a second complaint also indentifying the suspect. Police continued the investigation.
On Wednesday, FMPD received another call in reference to a suspicious person in a blue van following children. The incident happened near Fountain Street and Lincoln Boulevard. Officer David Conticelli responded to the call for service and conducted a traffic stop on the van. The driver was identified as Martinez-Leon. Detectives interviewed Martinez-Leon. Ultimately the investigation led to the arrest of Martinez-Leon.
Police remind parents to teach children about stranger dangers and the reporting of suspicious activity. Anyone with information is asked to call FMPD at 321-7700, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS or text message C-R-I-M-E-S (274637) Keyword FMPD. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
Police praised the boy for how he handled the situation. Lt. Sean Hoover says, "for him to react the way he did instead of actually trying to engage the man in conversation, he got a bad vibe from the very beginning from the way the man was looking at him."
While Hoover did not actually meet the boy, he says, "I would give him a high-five on a great job, thanks for coming forward, now we have someone identified, we can get him off the streets."