Tampa man in court after luring teen from California - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa man in court after luring teen from California

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

A Florida man accused of flying to California to bring back a teenage boy appeared in court in Tampa Wednesday morning.

Police say, Tony Mcleod met the 14-year-old boy online playing video games. The two met in Escondido, California and set off to Tampa.   

"He did win the young man's confidence," said Lt. Neal Griffin with the Escondido Police Department.

Police in Escondido informed police in Tampa about the inbound Delta flight with the boy and Mcleod on board. When the flight landed, TPD officers arrested Mcleod and took the boy into protective custody. Authorities notified the boy's parents.

Detectives now say, they expected authorities in California to charge Mcleod.  They waited more than 14 hours before police in Escondido sent them sexually explicit pictures and video Mcleod allegedly sent the teen.  Tampa Police Officers were initially concerned that they wouldn't have enough evidence to hold Mcleod.  

"Late last night, Escondido police department, they still had not put charges on this suspect and we were at a point where we may have had to release him. "  Said Tampa Police Department Spokeswoman Andrea Davis.  "In a perfect world, there would've been a warrant for his arrest by the time the plane landed and all we had to do is place him under arrest."  Said Davis.  " Just after 8 o'clock last night, our time, we received seven pictures and a video message that were text to the victim. His phone was still in California, so we didn't have access to that. So by 9:45 we had a warrant signed and charges placed on him. "

Officers searched Mcleod's home in Ybor City Tuesday evening. They took a few bags of evidence from his condo.

Mcleod is charged with kidnapping, interfering with custody, traveling to meet a minor and transmission of harmful material to a minor, according to TPD report.

He is in jail with no bond.

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