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Man arrested after 12-year-old girl reports kidnapping attempt
Francisco Deleon-Ruiz

A 43-year-old homeless man has been charged with trying to abduct a 12-year-old girl outside a Gainesville business.

Francisco Deleon-Ruiz has been charged with attempted kidnapping and pedestrian under the influence.

Police say Deleon-Ruiz approached the child while she was sitting in a vehicle outside Meeks Grocery, 309 Atlanta Highway, Gainesville, at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Her mother was shopping in the store, said Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks, spokesman for the Hall County Sheriff's Office. The child later told police that a man approached the vehicle and started talking to her. He then reached in the car, grabbed her by the arm and tried to pull her from the vehicle.

She struggled with the stranger, "causing him to give up and walk away," Wilbanks said.

The girl then went into the store and described what happened to her mother, who called 911.

Responding deputies found Deleon-Ruiz walking on a nearby street and arrested him without incident, Wilbanks said.

Deleon-Ruiz, an illegal immigrant, also was placed on an immigration hold.

The girl was not injured in the incident.

Investigators are asking anyone with further information about the suspect to contact them at 770-531-6879.

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