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10-Year-Old Girl Escapes From Sex Offender Who Tried To Kidnap Her Outside Gas Station

Roy, UT – An intuitive 10-year-old girl was able to escape from the grip of a registered sex offender as he attempted to kidnap her on Friday night, according to police.

The fifth-grader had ridden her bicycle to the Texaco gas station near the intersection of 1900 West and 4400 South on the evening of Aug. 27 to buy a snack, KUTV reported.

Surveillance footage showed her waiting in line behind a man later identified as 44-year-old registered sex offender Richard Palmer, police said.

The little girl later told investigators she had an uneasy feeling about Palmer and that he “made her not feel good,” KSTU reported.

After she left the store and picked up her bike, the 10-year-old noticed the suspect pacing outside the business and walking down 4400 South, police said.

She said she was holding onto her bike when Palmer suddenly grabbed her by her neck and tried to pull her away from her bicycle, KSTU reported.

The little girl screamed and fought back against her attacker, who ultimately let his combative, would-be prey go.

She jumped on her bike and sped off for home, where she immediately told her mother what had occurred, KSTU reported.

The child’s mother notified police.

Investigators used the gas station surveillance footage and information given to them by the 10-year-old to identify Palmer as a suspect, KSTU reported.

Police said he confessed that he tried to kidnap her and that he planned to take her to a nearby vacant home to rape her.

Palmer was previously convicted of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and has been on the sex offender registry for the past 14 years, according to investigators.

He has been booked into the Weber County Correctional Facility without bail on a charge of attempted kidnapping, KUTV reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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