Thirty-year-old Nelson E. Hercules Jr. of Virginia Beach, Va. was arrested on May 24 after police say he drove from Virginia to Pennsylvania to meet a 12-year-old girl he met online. Hercules was arrested at a Harrisburg Pike hotel after the girl’s mother called police to report that her daughter never arrived home after school on Friday and that someone spotted the little girl getting into a man’s car.
Only 30 minutes after receiving the call from the frantic mom who had recently just moved from California to Pennsylvania, police found Hercules’ car in the hotel parking lot, “took him into custody and rescued the girl,” according to Fox News. Hercules is looking at charges which include attempted rape of a child, indecent assault, kidnapping of a minor and crime use of a communication facility – all felonies.
Lancaster Online reported that the alleged abduction took place around 4 p.m. on Friday. Sgt. Tom Rudzinski of the Manheim Township Police in Pennsylvania said that Hercules had been in regular communication with the girl via Internet chat rooms and text messages.
The man admitted to investigators that he knew the girl was 12 years old, and that he had come to Lancaster to have sexual contact with her, police said.
The little girl’s mother credits police for their swift actions and response time. "All I did was call the cops and everybody responded," she said.
Authorities got the little’s girl’s description as well as suspect and vehicle descriptions out to all local police units in the area of the alleged abduction. After finding Hercules’ car, police found their suspect and their young victim inside one of the hotel rooms.
Rudzinski advises all parents to talk to their kids about child predators and the inherent dangers that come with online chat rooms. He also said that children should be encouraged to inform an adult if “somebody tries to get personal or have sexually suggestive conversations with them.”
They should also tell an adult if somebody makes them feel uncomfortable. Parents should monitor the activity of their children, both text messages and online, he said.
Following his arraignment, Hercules was remanded to Lancaster County Prison where he’s currently being held on a $250,000 bond. Hercules has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 28.