Man arrested for using social media to lure girl

Posted at 5:24 PM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 17:24:33-05

A Seminole man was arrested for using social media to lure a 14-year-old girl. Pinellas County deputies said 21-year-old Hector Paz used the website and app "MeetMe" in an attempt to have a sexual relationship with the minor.

Neighbors who live close to Paz said they're concerned about what he may have already done or could do when he comes back home. The 21-year-old lives right next to a bus stop for middle school students at 84th Lane North and 75th Avenue North.

"A bus full of kids that are middle school children that are 11, 12, 13, 14 (years old) that meet everyday on this corner," said neighbor heather Proco. "My concern is for their safety and all of the other kids living up and down this street." 

Proco has 4 kids of her own.

"My oldest is 9," she said. "It makes me not want to let my kids outside the front door."

According to deputies, Paz started talking to the girl on the social media app MeetMe. The app shows users other users who are nearby. You can text each other and look at pictures. Deputies say Paz told the girl he wanted to have oral sex and take a shower with her.

On Wednesday, he asked the girl to meet in person at a gas station about a block away from his home. Detectives were aware of the conversations and had him arrested, according to arrest documents.

"These days with social media, everything's just very accessible and makes me leery of all people," Poco said.