SAPD arrests man accused of kidnapping 7-year-old girl

Man tried to take girl from North Side apartment complex, SAPD says

By Adrian Garcia - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio police have arrested the man accused of kidnapping a 7-year-old girl at a North Side apartment complex.

Sgt. Michelle Ramos, a spokesperson for the San Antonio Police Department, said detectives issued a warrant for the arrest of the kidnapping suspect, Jack Steele.

Ramos said Steele, 42, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon at his apartment in the 2600 block of Nacogdoches Road.

RELATED: Photos of kidnapping suspect generating leads but no arrests yet, police say

On Aug. 8, the girl's father, Stephen Gonzalez, said his daughter was taking the dog to use the bathroom around 8:15 p.m. when a man grabbed her and put her into a red SUV.

The girl later told the police that after an SUV reversed toward her and parked, a man came up from behind her and threw her in the vehicle.

When the man tried to exit the apartment complex near Loop 1604 and Redland Road, the girl noticed the back doors were unlocked and jumped out while yelling for help, according to an arrest affidavit.

RELATED: Man accused of kidnapping 7-year-old wanted by SAPD

A resident nearby was able to help the girl and spot the red SUV speeding out of the exit gate.

"They had video of him getting in the pool with everybody, and he was, like, stalking kids in the apartment complex. And then he just grabbed her," Gonzalez said.

During the investigation, San Antonio police said they received leads which included the home address for Steele.

When detectives arrived at the apartment complex, they found a red SUV matching the description of the suspect vehicle and saw Steele walk out to the parking lot, according to the affidavit.

Steele had asked detectives if they were there to question him about "trespassing at a pool the day before," the affidavit said.

During further questioning, Steele claimed he went for a drive to scope out a new apartment complex. Despite not knowing which complex he visited, Steele admitted he had parked next to a pool because he "wanted to keep an eye on his vehicle," according to the affidavit.

When detectives showed Steele one of the images taken from surveillance footage, he claimed it wasn't him near the pool but confessed he wore the same clothing on the day the picture was taken, the affidavit said.

Steele denied any interaction with the girl and anyone being in his vehicle.

Police said evidence collected from Steele's SUV supported the girl's claims, with additional samples still being processed at the Bexar County Crime Lab.

Ramos said anyone who sees someone loitering or acting suspiciously is encouraged to call the police.

"As a parent, this is always upsetting to hear. So, once again, we're just glad (Steele) is behind bars," Ramos said.

Ramos said Steele is being charged with kidnapping, a third-degree felony. 

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