Girl escapes kidnapper in Jersey City

September 22, 2009 5:53:29 AM PDT
The Jersey City Police Department says a 12-year-old girl was abducted over the weekend, but she managed to escape and get help. Police arrested the suspect and charged him with kidnapping and sexual assault.

In Italian and broken English, the mother of accused kidnapper, Luigi Pandolfo, insists her son is innocent.

"He's a good boy. No one comes to our home," Maria Pandolfo said.

She talked to Eyewitness News just moments before her son appeared by video monitor before a judge to hear the charges against him.

A 12-year-old girl told police Luigi Pandolfo snatched her from her bicycle, took her into an apartment at 82 Colgate Street, handcuffed her, and then tried to sexually assault her Saturday night.

The girl found her chance to escape when, police say, Pandolfo moved her to a vacant apartment behind his mother's house. He left, and when the girl heard Pandolfo arguing with his mother back at the apartment, the girl squeezed out of the cuffs, climbed down a fire escape, jumped on her bicycle and raced home to tell her parents.

The suspect's mother insists, the girl was never in her home and that she was outside, looking at a kitten.

A relative of the girl tells us, the family is still shaken, but is trying to help the child get through the ordeal.

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