A 16-year-old Tampa teen says Cornelius Byrd Jr., 33, tried to abduct her Monday morning

TAMPA - Cornelius Byrd Jr., 33, is accused of trying to kidnap a Tampa teen as she walked to her school bus stop Monday morning.

It happened around 7 a.m. near East 25th Avenue near North 10th Street.

The teen said Byrd walked up to her and told her, 'You are my wife's sister.'

She said she told Byrd he was mistaken and kept walking.  That's when the teen said Byrd grabbed her, forced her to walk with him and when she tried to get away he blocked her path.

According to the teen, when she tried to get away, Byrd formed his fingers into the shape of a gun and put it to her head. 

"You know, when you're scared, you don't think, 'Oh, I should do this,'" explained Erika.  "You just do whatever is possible.  But I didn't have time to really think."

Tampa Police say Erika's friend saw the attempted abduction and confronted Byrd, who then walked off. 

Erika took off running into her house.

"When I saw everything that I was happening, I cried," Tomasa Munguia, Erika's mother, said in Spanish.  "It scared me very much."

Munguia ran outside to also confront Byrd.   He had apparently swooped in on two little girls sitting nearby.

"The two girls just freeze there, scared.  It was because he told them not to move.  He was going to do something to them if they moved," Erika recalled.

Erika grabbed her mother and tried helping the little girls.

Police say when they showed up Byrd tried to run but tripped.  He was caught and arrested.

He is now being held on $8,000 bond.

Byrd is charged with false imprisonment, battery and obstruction.

He has an arrest record stemming back to 1995 and has faced a slew of charges including battery and burglary.

Print this article Back to Top