(Reporter's Blog) – A 15-year-old girl was kidnapped at knifepoint Monday morning in south St. Louis, and now charges have filed against the man, who is also accused of trying to rape the girl.
The victim's grandmother told me she believes the assailant kidnapped the girl with the intent to rob her so he could get high. She says her granddaughter bit him in the hand to get away. We're not identifying the girl's grandmother in order to protect the victim's identity.
A 15-year-old girl was walking to her bus stop early Monday morning on Pennsylvania Avenue -- just a few blocks from her home -- when police say Charles Smith, 26, forced her into his van by holding a box cutter to her neck.
"He grabbed her from the back, around her neck," the victim's grandmother said.
The girl's her grandmother says Smith then drove the teen to a garage. According to court documents, Smith climbed on top of her and yanked off her pants. He took her cell phone and backpack, while the teen put up the fight of her life.
"He put his hands over her mouth and she bit him," the victim's grandmother said. "She bit him really hard and she was fighting and she didn't let go."
That's when the girl was able to break free.
"She had to run out into the middle of the street and flag down a passing motorist and she was only partially clothed at that point," St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said.
Joyce charged Smith with kidnapping the girl, trying to rape her and armed criminal action. She credits the victim with leading police to her attacker, which was less than a mile from her home. Employees working in the riverfront area where Smith was arrested say police pulled surveillance video from a local business that shows Smith dumping the girl's cell phone in a Dumpster before going into work.
"It's a very scary case," Joyce said. "We hate to think about a girl just going to school and this happening to her. It's very troubling."
"She's scared to go to school," the victim's grandmother said of the 15-year-old. "She's scared just to come outside."
A judge ordered Smith to be held without bond.