A 10-year-old New York girl claimed a Staten Island ice cream truck driver tried to abduct her on Sunday, leading to his arrest. Police, however, say there is more to the story, and that the girl had posed as an adult online before meeting Jonathan Castro, 20, and concocting the abduction tale.
The girl, who has not been named due to her age, told her parents that Castro had kidnapped her, the New York Post reported. She later told cops that a man had grabbed her wrist while she was entering a deli, saying she broke free and was able to use a stranger’s phone to call her mom and tell her what happened.
The girl’s parents reported the incident to the police, who quickly arrested Castro. On Monday, however, police determined that the girl had lied about being kidnapped and actually had been messaging Castro on social media, where she claimed to be 18 years old, the Daily Mail reported.
Sources told the Daily Mail that the girl also looked mature for her age, and that she had agreed to meet with Castro over the weekend, where he picked her up in his ice cream truck. Castro reportedly drove for a short time before the girl changed her mind and wanted to leave the truck. The two reportedly argued, drawing the attention of a nearby stranger who called the police. That’s when the girl claimed she had been abducted.
Castro left the girl and went to a pizza place he is known to frequent.
“He’s a regular. My staff knows him. He’s a skinny kid,” the manager of Mama Rosario’s pizzeria told the Mail. “We saw police talking to him and then they arrested him.”
Castro, who has no prior arrest warrant, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and attempted sexual abuse and assault.
“It’s a huge misunderstanding. I’m firm believer that the truth is going to prevail,” Castro’s mother, Janet, told the Mail.
The outlet noted that the Staten Island District Attorney’s office would need to decide whether to pursue the charges or decline to prosecute Castro.