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Observant girl leads detectives to violent offender after he tried to lure her to car: Sheriff

Posted at 8:38 AM, Jan 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-18 10:50:58-05

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says a "vigilant" girl led them to a violent felony offender after he tried to lure her to his vehicle.

Deputies say Preston Pamphile, 35, approached the girl on Wednesday while she was walking home from her bus stop. It happened around 4:45 p.m. in the area of Old Hillsborough Avenue East and Orange Avenue.

The sheriff's office says Pamphile made sexually inappropriate comments to the girl and tried to get her into his car. He was driving a 2016 black Ford Titanium with Florida tag KSZN03.

The girl got the tag information on Pamphile's car and gave it to the sheriff's office. The next day, the Special Investigations Division surveilled Pamphile and the sheriff's office says they saw him approach three other underage girls as well as an adult woman.

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Pamphile was stopped by detectives and arrested for reckless driving, violation of probation – simple battery (2 counts) and violation of probation – false imprisonment.

Authorities say Pamphile is a Violent Felony Offender of Special Concern, which is a person who is on felony probation or community control for a previous offense that generally involves violence or the threat of violence. The sheriff's office says his arrest history includes aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and several counts of battery.

Detectives are asking anyone who had similar encounters with Pamphile to come forward. Anyone with any information is asked to call, 813-247-8200.

Pamphile is being held at the Orient Road Jail with no bond.

The sheriff's office is reminding parents and children to remain attentive and to call if you see something suspicious in your neighborhoods.