HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - A man and a woman were arrested after allegedly attempting to lure a 9-year-old girl into a van in Hollywood, officials said.
The incident occurred along the 1900 block of McKinley Street in Hollywood while the girl was playing in her front yard, Friday afternoon.
Police said that the girl’s father, who was in his car at the time, witnessed a woman, later identified as 31-year-old Taiana Tersano, aggressively approaching his daughter after getting out of a van. The man driving the van, later identified as 34-year-old Michael Diaz, was reportedly heard yelling at Tersano to “grab the [expletive] kid.”
Chris Watkins, a neighbor, shared cellphone video of the white van the couple was driving when it quickly turned the corner to attempt to snatch the little girl. From the video footage, an argument could be heard.
“I was enjoying the nice weather, walking down the street,” Watkins said.
A police report stated that when the father intervened, Tersano “spat in his face, then struck him with a closed fist” before he struck her back. Both suspects drove away after the confrontation.
Police later stopped the van at a nearby CVS Pharmacy, located at 901 N Federal Highway, and took the duo into custody.
Inside the vehicle, they found a 7-year-old child, who, police said, was the suspects’ own child, surrounded by loose tools. The child was subsequently taken into protective custody.
Diaz and Tersano face charges of luring or enticing a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Tersano also faces two counts of resisting arrest with violence.
“It’s a pretty sad situation if we can’t feel safe in our own environment,” area resident Benjamin Ciskowicz said. “Today’s world, kinda sucks.”
“I got a 12-year-old daughter who walks to school two blocks away. For sure, I want it blown up; I don’t want to see these people around anymore,” Watkins said.
They appeared in court on Saturday morning and were ordered to be held in lieu of a $30,000 bond, which they have since posted. Additionally, they were instructed not to return to the scene of the alleged crime, have no contact with the victim and avoid contact with any minors, including their own child.
Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.