Man accused of attempting to abduct an 11-year-old girl after tackling her to the ground is refused bail – but insists police have got the wrong guy
- Police have charged a Queensland man, 29 with alleged attempted abduction
- The man allegedly tried to abduct an 11-year-old girl in Brisbane on Saturday
- Officers claim witnesses were able to scare the man off and save the girl
A man accused of attempting to abduct a young girl after tackling her to the ground as she walked to a friend’s house has claimed that police have got the wrong guy.
John Watterson, 29, allegedly approached the 11-year-old as she walked along a road in Lawnton, north of Brisbane on Saturday afternoon.
Police allege he grabbed her and pulled her to the ground before a witness shouted at him, causing him to run off and drive away in a black Holden Captiva.
Police allege the 11-year-old girl was tackled to the ground by a man, who fled the scene in a Holden Captiva (pictured) after a witness shouted at him
The 29-year-old man has been charged with taking a child for an immoral purpose, indecent treatment of a child and assault occasioning bodily harm (pictured is the scene of the alleged abduction attempt)
Watterson was refused bail at Pine Rivers Magistrates Court on Thursday.
His lawyer said it was a case of mistaken identity, reported the Courier Mail.
‘It’s a very circumstantial case,’ the lawyer said. ‘There is limited information regarding my client’s identity.’
Detective superintendent Tony Fleming told reporters police were confident they had arrested the correct man, 9 News reported.
‘It is an example of a collective effort of police working with the community to actually address something that evidently causes us a lot of concern,’ he said.
‘Naturally, something like this is a lot to take in. I’m told her family has rallied around behind her, but this will be a journey for her.’
After the alleged attack, the young girl was able to run to a friend’s house.
‘When she got to my house she was shaking really bad. I cannot imagine the fear she was feeling at the time,’ her friend’s older sister, Lina Asiata, told The Courier Mail.
‘She was absolutely scared, the fear she had in her eyes was just the saddest thing I have ever witnessed in my life.’
Watterson has been charged with taking a child for an immoral purpose, indecent treatment of a child and assault occasioning bodily harm.
He will appear in court at a later date.
Police opposed bail for the man who appeared before the Pine Rivers Magistrates Court on Thursday (pictured is the scene of the alleged abduction)