BOONE COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - A man from Las Vegas was arrested Monday after he attempted to kidnap a female student in the parking lot at Conner High School in Hebron, according to the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office says Benjamin J. Margitza, 18, first met the victim through an online app about four years ago.
“There were three of us girls followed on Instagram,” said one of the girls, Cheyenne Bayne. “It was her best friend and I’m pretty much just a mutual. It really freaked me out that it was just the three of us being followed. That was really suspicious to me.”
According to authorities, there was minimal contact between the two but within the past year Margitza contacted the victim and began making explicit, sexual statements while also obsessing over the victim by saying how he wanted to marry her.
Margitza flew from Las Vegas to northern Kentucky late Saturday night with the intention of making contact with the victim.
“I remember actually seeing where he was like, ‘I’m flying from Las Vegas, I’m going to stay at the Marriott’ which was nearby in Hebron and then she was like ‘what do I do?’ and it came down to him showing up at school,” said Bayne.
He approached her in the parking lot of Conner High School shortly before 11 a.m. and grabbed her arm.
“I never thought it was real. I never thought it would actually happen, you know, you see the things circulate," said Bayne. "Never thought it would come down to him flying from Las Vegas and trying to meet the girl.”
The victim screamed and began to ran away, but he continued to follow her.
A male student heard what was going on and intervened.
The victim then went into the school and told the School Resource Officer what happened.
The officer located Margitza in the back of an Uber as he was trying to leave the Conner High School campus.
Margitza told detectives that he would have followed the victim into the school if the male student hadn’t stopped him.
In addition, Margitza said he intended to convince the victim to have sex with him once he got her back to his hotel.
Margitza is charged with attempted kidnapping of a minor and criminal trespass.
He is held in lieu of $50,000 bond at the Boone County Detention Center.
Boone County Schools Community Relations Coordinator Barbara Brady responded to a request for comment on if parents were made aware of the incident when it happened:
"Yes, parents were notified. As part of our safety practices we always put out immediate notification to parents/guardians when incidents occur. We all have children ourselves and we understand the need to know. We also inform the rest of our student body of the incidents as they relate to their safety and update them on important safety precautions.
If a parent claims they were not informed they need to check with the school to see if their contact information is current. Many times, we find parents miss notifications because their contact information has changed and was not updated."