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Man kidnaps, attempts to molest teenage girl with special needs, deputies say

A man in Marion County, Florida, was arrested after deputies said he kidnapped a 17-year-old girl with special needs and tried to molest her in his van. 

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Deputies said James Dyess, 47, kidnapped the girl from the Westwood Mobile Home Park in Ocala on Tuesday. 

Witnesses told deputies they saw the girl in the van and that Dyess was kissing her on the neck. 

While witnesses searched for the teenager’s mother, Dyess drove away with the victim to the parking lot of a store where he tried to molest her, deputies said. 

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Witnesses had begun driving around to search for the van and when they did, they told the girl to get out of the vehicle, which she did. 

Dyess drove away and was later found and arrested in Levy County, deputies said. 

He’ll face charges of kidnapping and battery when he’s transported to the Marion County Jail.

Detectives ask that anyone with information about any similar incidents that may involve Dyess call the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

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