Attempted Kidnapping Details

In most places around the world, kidnapping is a crime involving the act of one or more individuals forcibly moving one or more people from one place to another against their will. Attempted kidnapping is also a crime in many courts of law, as certain conduct can constitute criminal behavior even if the kidnapping was unsuccessful. Such conduct which could prove corroborative of a person’s attempted kidnapping includes:

  • Stalking or staking out the contemplated victim.
  • Baiting or the intention of baiting the contemplated victim to go to a location contemplated for their kidnapping.
  • Surveying a location contemplated for the kidnapping.
  • Breaking into a location contemplated for the kidnapping.
  • Possessing specifically designed materials intended to be used for kidnapping and which serve no lawful purpose for the suspect to have in their possession.
  • Possessing, collecting, or fabricating specifically designed materials intended for kidnapping, which are stored at or near the location contemplated for the crime with no lawful purpose.
  • Hiring an outside party to aid in an element of the attempted kidnapping.

Real World Example of Attempted Kidnapping

One instance of attempted kidnapping can be observed in the case of a Florida man and an 11-year-old girl in May 2021. According to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (via Global News), the girl was approached by the man while waiting at a school bus stop. Surveillance footage shows the man approach in an SUV before exiting the vehicle brandishing a knife to accost the girl, lifting her off her feet.

However, as the man attempted to bring the girl back to his SUV, she managed to free herself by going limp, kicking, pushing, and punching her attempted kidnapper before ultimately escaping uninjured. Authorities proceeded to swarm the area soon afterward, conducting interviews and collecting additional surveillance footage. Upon releasing the footage of the attempted kidnapping online, the police found the suspect that same night.

The suspect’s attempted kidnapping charges were further corroborated when he stopped to speak with the girl several weeks before the crime. The girl reported this uncomfortable encounter to her family and school. Her mother walked her to the bus stop every day after, except on the day of the attempted kidnapping. According to Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons, the suspect reportedly has a “rather long” criminal history. Had the girl not fought back, “This could have ended very differently.”

Kidnapping vs. Abduction

As the word implies, kidnapping most often involves children as the victims of adults. The word ‘abduction,’ however, though commonly used synonymously with ‘kidnapping,’ is distinct for several reasons. Whereas kidnapping typically involves a lack of consent on behalf of the victim, abduction also connotates illegally taking a person away through fraud in addition to force or violence.

The key difference being that kidnapping often involves a lack of consent from the victim’s lawful guardians, while abductions involve a lack of consent from the victim themselves.