Alleged stalker tried to kidnap teen in front of her parents in Bothell, documents state

May 22, 2024, 2:52 AM

Image: A sign for Frank Love Elementary School in Bothell can be seen in a fence at the school....

A sign for Frank Love Elementary School in Bothell can be seen in a fence at the school. (Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

(Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

Unfortunately, attempted child kidnappings happen all too frequently. But seldom do they happen in the presence of the child’s parents.

That’s what the Bothell Police Department (BPD) said happened on April 26, near Frank Love Elementary School.

Court documents say the girl, 17, was standing with her parents outside the school, waiting to pick up her siblings.

That’s when 26-year-old Fernando Rojas allegedly grabbed the girl and tried to pull her away and the parents intervened. In written statements to police, the parents say Rojas threatened to kill the girl and her mother.

Before the Bothell incident: Suspect met teen online years earlier

According to court documents, the teenager first met Rojas on social media when she was 14. At the time, the girl thought Rojas was a teenager.

But friendly conversations about music turned uncomfortable. When Rojas told her his real age, she cut all ties, blocked him, and changed her cell phone number. According to court documents, Rojas persisted. His tone changed and he began making threats to kill her.

More from the crime blotter: Man, 39, convicted of groping teen on flight from Dubai to Seattle

The girl says he stalked her, telling police he showed up repeatedly to her bus stop. She says he previously attacked her and tried to drag her away, threatening to rape and kill her. She eventually made the shift to online learning. She hadn’t told her parents at the time because she didn’t want to scare them, documents say.

Then on April 26, the girl and her parents were at the Bothell school, when she noticed Rojas walking toward them. Court documents say he tried to drag her away. The girl’s mother stepped in between them and managed to scare him away. The girl’s father reportedly chased him into a surrounding neighborhood.

Officers tracked down Rojas after reviewing surveillance video of attack on the day of the incident.

Rojas faces a multitude of charges, including first-degree kidnapping, attempted first-degree kidnapping, stalking, assault and harassment. His bail has been set at $500,000.

You can read more of James Lynch’s stories here. Follow James on X, or email him here.

You can read more of Sam Campbell’s stories here. Follow Sam Campbell on X, or email him here.

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