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Green Line Passengers Help Teen Evade Attempted Kidnapping

burnett-kidnap.jpg
Burnett (via LASD)
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Thanks to almost a dozen Metro Green Line passengers, a teenage girl was able to evade an attempted kidnapping from the South Avalon station platform yesterday. The incident took place at shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday, says the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Transit Services South Bureau, and a suspect was detained soon after at the Imperial Wilmington Blue Line. The victim, however, has not contacted the authorities.Passengers on the platform of the South Avalon station had seen a man folding the victim into a "bear hug type hold, in an apparent attempt to kidnap her," explain the LASD in a release. About eight to ten people came forward and "tackled the girl's would-be attacker," elaborates LA Now. The girl fled the scene after being freed, and now the LASD are hoping to identify and locate her.

The would-be kidnapper also fled, and deputies were waiting at the Imperial Wilmington station to confront him. He was detained, and identified as the kidnapping suspect, 46-year-old James Alfred Burnett, who is a "registered sex offender with a criminal history," adds LA Now. The LASD say Burnett "was arrested and booked for Attempt Kidnapping and is being held in lieu of 100,000.00 dollars bail."

Last month a teen girl was kidnapped and sexually assaulted from a Green Line station in Hawthorne.

UPDATE November 16, 2012:
Burnett, now 47, was sentenced today to nine years in state prison, according to City News Service. The registered sex offender was convicted May 1, 2012 of false imprisonment for the March 17, 2011 crime.

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Jane Robison of the District Attorney's Office says her team will review the sentence handed down today, and consider an appeal, noting that prosecutors believed Burnett was eligible for a 25-years-to-life sentence under the state's three strikes law.

The jury deadlocked on two other charges--attempted murder and criminal threats--which will put Burnett back in court next month.

In a letter penned by the victim as read in court the victim says of Burnett and the attack: "[H]e has taken every minute of every hour of every day from me. I'm dealing with the image of his face, his hands, his body against mine, the fear of trains and the terrifying thought what could have been me dead ... He haunts my every moment."