GAINESVILLE - A homeless man is facing attempted kidnapping charges following an incident over the weekend on the south side of Gainesville.
Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks of the Hall County Sheriff's Office says officers got the call about 8:30 Friday night to Meeks Grocery at 309 Atlanta Highway where they were told the victim was a 12-year-old girl who had been sitting in a vehicle outside the store while her mother was inside shopping.
"As she waited for her mother to return, an unknown Hispanic male approached and began a conversation," Sgt. Wilbanks said officers were told. "At some point during the encounter the male subject reached in, grabbed the female by the arm and attempted to pull her from the vehicle."
But, the girl struggled with the man, Wilbanks said, causing him to "give up and walk away." He said the girl then went inside the store and told her mother what had happened and 911 was called.
"Responding deputies located 43-year-old Francisco Deleon-Ruiz walking on a nearby street and arrested him without incident," Wilbanks added.
Deleon-Ruiz is charged with kidnapping and pedestrian under the influence, according to Wilbanks, who added that he is also in the U.S. illegally and so an "immigration hold" was placed on him. In addition, investigators are asking anyone with any other information about the suspect to contact them at 770-531-6879.
The girl was not injured.