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Parents Relieved After Pflugerville Attempted Kidnapping Suspect Caught
There's a sigh of relief in Pflugerville after the man accused of trying to kidnap two girls earlier this week was arrested Thursday night.
Justine Michael Johnson, 23, of Hutto told police he was having sexual fantasies and intended to harm the two girls. He is now accused of two counts of aggravated kidnapping of a child.
Jennifer Smith says her daughter is one of the children who had been approached by Johnson. Her daughter had been outside playing on Feb. 1 when Johnson drove by in his red truck and started cursing at her. Smith immediately reported the incident to police.
Then on Feb. 13, she heard about the attempted kidnapping while at her child's school. She said the suspect description sounded eerily familiar. "I had already told the principal, and I was like 'well, is it the same description as what I had given you last week?' and she said 'well, I think so.'"
Police say they received several tips the moment the suspect description went out. Lieutenant Laura Wilkes with the Pflugerville Police Department says they couldn't have made an arrest so fast without the help of citizens. She says a mother and a child were at local Target shopping and the child observed a man who looked like the picture he had seen of the suspect and told his mother who then contacted police.
Emails and phone calls flooded the tip line. Some residents even took pictures. That information led investigators to Johnson who lives in Hutto. "Upon arriving at his home, we noticed he has no facial hair and he admits he left his vehicle parked in another location because he knew he would be caught," Lt. Wilkes says.
While he may be in jail, parents like Jennifer Smith say the thought of what could have happened still has her on edge. With tears in her eyes, Smith says "he so could have easily jumped out of that truck and grabbed her."
Photo from the Pflugerville Police Department
By Lydia Pantazes