Florida man arrested for allegedly kidnapping, molesting teenage girl with special needs

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida man was arrested on Wednesday evening for allegedly kidnapping and molesting a 17-year-old girl, who has special needs.

Levy County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested James Wesley Dyess, 47, on a Marion County warrant after deputies say he kidnapped a 17-year old girl from the Westwood Mobile Home Park in Ocala on Tuesday.

According to the Marion County Sheriff's Office, on Tuesday, a witness saw that the girl was in Dyess’ van with him at the mobile home park and that he was kissing her on the neck. When witnesses were trying to find the child’s mother to tell her what was going on, Dyess drove away with the victim still in his vehicle.

Dyess reportedly took the victim to a nearby retail store’s parking lot and attempted to molest her inside his van, according to MCSO. Witnesses then began driving around to look for Dyess and the girl and found them in his van in the store’s parking lot. The witnesses told the child to get out of the van, which she did, and Dyess fled the scene. Law enforcement was then notified.

Dyess was located and arrested by the Levy County Sheriff’s Office at a residence within their jurisdiction Wednesday evening. He is currently being held in the Levy County Jail on MCSO’s warrants for kidnapping and simple battery and is awaiting transportation back to Marion County to face his charges.

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