TAMARAC (CBSMiami) – The Broward Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man they said stopped a boy walking to school, took him in his car and then attempted to molest him.
BSO said it was able to crack this case right away because the young victim came forward and they had some very good surveillance footage from the area where the crime took place.
Detectives said it all started after 8 a.m. Tuesday when the child was walking to school.
Investigators said the 13-year-old boy noticed an SUV following him as he neared a strip mall on the northwest corner of N Pine Island and W McNab Road in Tamarac.
According to the police report, 28-year-old Andrew Jewell offered the boy a ride to his middle school and the boy accepted.
“He actually pulled up in his vehicle and then pulled over and touched the young child inappropriately,” said Sgt. Shanda Martin.
The police report states Jewell forced the victim to fondle him and the boy screamed he was going to call the police.
The victim said he could not get out of the car because he was afraid Jewell would hurt him. He asked Jewell to take him to school.
Eventually, Jewell did, and that’s where the victim told a school resource officer what happened.
“It takes a lot of courage for someone this age to come forward and say he was a victim of a crime that some might consider embarrassing. He did the right thing,” Martin said.
BSO said Jewell had rented a car to use in these crimes.
There’s a message here for youngsters.
“Never take a ride from strangers. Even though he thought he was old enough and thought he was doing something innocent, you cannot trust anyone nowadays,” Martin said. “We do have stranger danger programs and if anything happens call us. We are here to help.”
BSO believes there may be other victims.
“There’s a possibility there are other victims out there and we say that because of the way he approached in the area of schools and he followed the victim,” Martin said.
BSO said the victim identified Jewell in a photo lineup.
Detectives said Jewell did admit to picking up the child and dropping him off at school, but he did not confess to molesting the boy.
A records check shows Jewell has been arrested before for other offenses involving grand theft and fraud.
Jewell is being charged with lewd and lascivious behavior on a teenage child and kidnapping and false imprisonment.
Anyone who thinks he victimized them should call Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.