PINE HILLS, Fla. (WESH) — An Orange County man is facing kidnapping charges after authorities say he grabbed children in Pine Hills Friday night.
Kelijah Pompey, 24, allegedly told deputies he was only trying to help the children cross the street.
Witnesses and the victims told investigators they saw Pompey doing pushups in the parking lot of a furniture store at the shopping center across from Evans High School on N. Pine Hills Road. A criminal complaint says, as the children walked by, “Kelijah approached them and told them he wanted to play football with them.”
The kids told investigators they ignored him, but that Pompey grabbed them and walked them across the street toward an apartment complex.
“(A witness) saw Kelijah pick up (a child) ‘like a baby’ and walk several feet with her,” the complaint said.
One of the children started yelling, and witnesses said several people confronted Pompey and began “physically assaulting” him. Authorities say Pompey then started trying to stop cars and open their doors. They say he was eventually able to get inside one, but hit another car a short distance away and was forced out by the car’s original occupants.
“Kelijah then jumped on the hood of a vehicle before he started rolling in the grass,” the arrest report said.
Investigators say when Orange County deputies arrived, Pompey was trying to escape into a storm drain.
A detective said Pompey said he was simply trying to help the children get across the street, and that he had been “jumped” after asking people to use their cell phones.
Pompey is in the Orange County jail facing charges including kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, and false imprisonment.