Tampa man accused of flying to Calif. to bring teen to Florida - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa man accused of flying to Calif. to bring teen to Florida

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Tampa Police spent hours going through unit 10202 at "The Quarter Condos" in Ybor City on Tuesday night. They hauled out bag after bag of evidence from the home of Tony Mcleod. 

But this story starts on Monday, when investigators say Mcleod flew to Los Angeles, then drove to Escondido to pick up a 14-year old boy he met gaming online with a Playstation.

Then he flew back to Tampa with the teen.

"He did reach out through an online game. He did endear himself to a 14-year-old identifying himself as a 35-year-old man," said Lt. Neal Griffin with the Escondido Police Department. "He did win the young man's confidence."

Police in Escondido were already looking into a report someone had been sending the teen sexually explicit texts and pictures to the boy's cell phone. The boy's parents caught on.

"They'd monitored the phone. The parents were the ones that uncovered this," said Griffin. "The family uncovered this situation and immediately notified the police."

Police in Escondido informed police in Tampa of the inbound Delta flight with the boy and Mcleod on board. Tampa Police were waiting as the early morning flight arrived. They arrested Mcleod, took the teen into protective custody and notified his relieved parents.

"No one knows what was going to happen to him here in Tampa," said Major Brian Dugan with the Tampa Police Department. "I think the quick action on their police department communicating with us, so we were able to bring this kid and get him to a safe place."  

Back at Mcleod's condo, neighbors reacted with disgust to the cross-country luring of a teen. "That's really messed up, and not cool. Disturbing" said Kathryn Reynolds.

"It's weird and creepy and I have little sisters that visit me here a lot and that makes me uncomfortable," said Caitlin Eaddy. 

Police say Mcleod used a sophisticated form of grooming to entice the teen to travel to Tampa. They say it doesn't appear he's done this before but they're checking to make sure.

Mcleod may face federal charges.  

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