Colorado Man Who Almost Kidnapped a School Girl Turned In by His Parents

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A man from Colorado was arrested and charged with second-degree kidnapping, a felony charge, of a 10-year-old girl, after his parents turned him in, after seeing footage of their son released by authorities. 

Diego James Gettler, 28, allegedly grabbed a little girl outside the Stem Launch K-8 School, at around 7:30 am before the school day started. A statement by the Thornton Police Department indicates that the attempted kidnapping happened on Friday, September 23, 2022. The 28-year-old was arrested on Monday and charged with second-degree kidnapping.

The 10-year-old told authorities that her mother had just dropped her off at the school, and she was sitting on the steps waiting for the school day to begin when Diego came to where she was seated and asked her whether she was a student at the school. According to the affidavit, the man made her feel uneasy, and as soon as she started going down the stairs, Diego quickly grabbed her from behind and started carrying her to his car.

The girl started screaming and trying to fight him off, and the suspect covered her mouth with his hands. After several attempts of fighting him off and grabbing at him, the girl pulled down Gettler’s mask, which scared him, prompting him to flee. The young girl banged on the window of the school and was able to get help. 

Authorities found video footage of the suspect parking his car, a gray Saturn Aura, near the school, then walking toward the school and forcefully grabbing the 10-year-old. The footage shows the suspect running towards the grey car, climbing into the passenger side, and driving off.

A few hours after the incident, authorities released pictures of the suspect from the surveillance video, which showed he was wearing all black sweatshirt, pants, and shoes. They also released pictures of his grey Saturn Aura, which had damage on the driver’s side.

Diego’s parents visited the Thornton Police Station three days after the attempted kidnapping incident. They informed the detectives that the photos from the surveillance video that the police released of the suspect and his vehicle convinced them that their son was the suspect the police were searching for.

Diego’s parents told authorities that their son owns and drives a vehicle matching the description given by police. According to them, he has a gray Saturn Aura, which sustained damages on the driver’s side from a previous car accident. The affidavit also states that Diego has to get into the car from the passenger’s side due to the damage on the driver’s side.

Detectives working on the case said that Diego’s cell phone pinged to the area near the school at the time of the attempted abduction.

Authorities traced Gettler’s location and arrested him on September 26, inside his car outside a department store in Parker, Colorado. Gettler was taken into custody and booked at Adams County Jail in Brighton, Colorado.

Gettler was arraigned in court on Thursday and did not enter a plea. His hearing is scheduled for October 5, 2022.

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