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Man arrested for attempted kidnapping of girl was turned in by his own parents

A masked man Thornton, Colorado police believe to be Diego James Gettler, 28, during an alleged attempted kidnapping incident (Thornton Police Department)
A masked man Thornton, Colorado police believe to be Diego James Gettler, 28, during an alleged attempted kidnapping incident (Thornton Police Department)

A man in Colorado has been charged with second-degree kidnapping after his parents turned him in to a local police department.

Diego James Gettler, 28, allegedly grabbed a girl outside of a STEM Launch K-8 school in Thornton, Colorado on 23 September, police said.

According to police, the girl said she had just been dropped off at school and was waiting on the front steps when Mr Gettler approached and asked if she went to the school.

Mr Gettler then walked away before turning around, at which point the girl stood up and he allegedly gabbed her.

“The male made her feel uncomfortable, so she stood up as he was walking back down the stairs,” an affidavit obtained by People says. “The male grabbed [her] at this point, in a manner she described as him wrapping his hands and arms around her waist from behind.”

Diego James Gettler, 28 (Adams County Jail)
Diego James Gettler, 28 (Adams County Jail)

The arresting documents claimed that the girl screamed and Mr Gettler tried to cover her mouth with his hand.

She fought and managed to pull down a facemask he was wearing, which reportedly "spooked" him, and caused him to flee.

A figure police say is Mr Gettler was caught on camera running back to his car after the incident, entering from the passenger side door, and driving away.

Later the same day, police released photos from the surveillance camera showing Mr Gettler returning to his car after the alleged attempted abduction.

The images made it to his parents, who recognised the car and their son and tipped Thornton police off to his identity.

“[His parents] stated Diego owns and operates a gray Saturn Aura which has damage on the driver side” caused by an earlier car accident,” the affidavit says. “[His parents] further confirmed Diego has to enter the vehicle from the passenger side.”

Mr Gettler was then arrested on 26 September at a Home Depot and was later booked into the Adams County Jail. His first court appearance is scheduled for 5 October.