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Reynoldsburg Girl Helps Police Catch Attempted Abduction Suspect
REYNOLDSBURG (Lisa Rantala) -- Police are praising the actions of a 10-year-old girl after a man living in a nearby group home allegedly tried to abduct and rape her while she was walking to a school bus stop.
The fifth grader called 911 Thursday morning and said the man -- identified by police as Paul Stowell -- grabbed her, put his arm around her waist and his hand on her mouth, and tried to pull her away.
She told a dispatcher her would-be abductor ran when she starting screaming and making a scene. Police say they soon found Stowell, 23, at a group home eight doors down from the bus stop, behaving in a strange manner.
Stowell confessed to the attack under questioning, according to investigators.
"He told the officers he was going to try to find a secluded area, said Reynoldsburg Police Lt. Ron Wright. He was very graphic in his description, and he said he was going to rape or molest this young girl."
Police say the group home on Bartlett is designed for the mildly mentally disabled, and while they do not know how long Stowell has been a resident, they say they have had problems in the past with wandering residents.
The company, Support Care, runs the facility, which is licensed to provide up to three disabled adults with around-the-clock care.
A company representative said Stowell was able to come and go from the home unsupervised, but staff kept track of his departures and arrivals.
Stowell was not permitted to be absent from the home for long periods of time, according to the Support Care representative.
Police say Stowell, who is charged with kidnapping, had been seen at the bus stop before this weeks attack. A judge set his bail amount at $1.5 million Friday morning.