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10-year-old girl escapes kidnapping attempt by convicted sex offender

Roy Police (File Photo: KUTV)
Roy Police (File Photo: KUTV)
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A 10-year-old girl was able to thwart an attempted kidnapping at a Weber County gas station after yelling and fighting against her attacker.

The police said he later admitted to trying to take the girl to a nearby abandoned home where he planned to sexually assault her.

Officials said the incident happened Friday evening at a Texaco gas station in the area of 4400 South and 1900 West in Roy.

The suspect was identified as 44-year-old Richard Palmer.

The girl told police she rode to the gas station to buy a treat. Video surveillance showed Palmer in line in front of the girl.

She exited to store, collected her bike, and began to leave the area. The girl told police she saw the same man pacing outside the store, walking along 4400 South.

About a block away, she said he grabbed her by the neck. She screamed and yelled, still holding on to her bike. The man then let her go. She went home and told her mother, who called police.

Using surveillance video from the gas station, investigators with the Roy Police Department were able to identify a vehicle where Palmer was a passenger. Police located the man and questioned him about the incident.

Officials said Palmer admitted to trying to take the girl. He told them he planned to rape the girl.

Palmer was arrested and booked in to the Weber County Correctional Facility. He faced charges of attempted kidnapping.

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According to the Utah Department of Corrections, Palmer was convicted of unlawful sexual activity with a minor in 2007.

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