An Illinois man sits in Orange County jail after accusations he tried to abduct a 9-year-old from Universal Orlando’s Harry Potter area.
Minooka, Illinois, resident Jason Mikel, 23, faces charges of attempted kidnapping of a child under 13, battery and misdemeanor marijuana possession after a Saturday incident at the theme park.
The charging affidavit says the girl told Orlando police she was in the Forbidden Journey ride’s locker area when a man “touched her on her shoulders and told her to go outside and her mother was outside.” The girl said she reacted to the stranger by bolting to her mother, who later said she’d lost sight of the girl.
A woman told police she saw a man in a Chicago White Sox baseball cap “with his hands on the shoulders of the victim” and overheard him say, “Mommy was over here.” After confirming with the mother that the girl didn’t know the man, she reported the man to staff “at which time the suspect ran off.”
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The affidavit says park employees detained Mikel at the Hogwarts attraction. The arresting officer said Mikel had a scraped left knee and a swollen upper lip and was lightly bleeding.
“He spontaneously stated he thought someone was grabbing him and he fell,” the affidavit says.
The arresting officer says he found 2 grams of marijuana on Mikel wrapped in paper during the arrest.
In addition to the charges, Mikel is banned from all Universal Studios properties until further notice.