A registered sex offender is behind bars after police say he tried to lure two girls into his car. Memphis Police say 25-year-old Christian Nugent tried to lure the girls into his truck just before 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon on Halloween as they were walking home from school.
The incidents happened at Kirby and Raines Road, and Ross and Raines near Kirby High School. Memphis Police officers saturated the area Friday. They’re also patrolling areas where similar incidents have happened.
“If somebody pulls up beside you, run the other direction,” warns MPD Sgt. Vonyale Montgomery.
There have been at least six incidents in the past couple of weeks in Memphis, where teen girls reported a strange man tried to grab them or lure them in his car.
Each incident occurred near a Shelby County School, and descriptions of the man and his car are all similar: a man with dreadlocks driving a white 4-door sedan with tinted windows.
Sgt. Montgomery says it’s not clear yet if the previous four cases are connected to the two incidents on Halloween. Registered sex offender Christian Nugent was arrested in those two cases. Nugent has short hair and was arrested driving a white pick-up truck.
Nugent was on probation when police say he tried to lure the two girls on Halloween. In August, Nugent was given two-years probation for soliciting sexual exploit of a minor. He pleaded guilty.
Sergeant Montgomery says the police force is doing all it can, like assigning extra patrols near schools. Sgt. Montgomery also holds seminars at schools, churches, and camps. She says kids need to cause a scene if a stranger tries to grab them. “You need to holler or yell, this is not my parent. This is not anybody I know. This is somebody I’m afraid of.”
She says it’s also up to parents to help keep their children safe. “If you love your child stay with them. Keep an eye on ‘em,” says Sgt. Montgomery. “If you’re not watching over them, make sure they’re with a responsible adult.”
Kirby High mom, Amelia Poindexter, says she’s on the lookout for anyone who tries to harm her daughter. “It’s always somebody out here preying on someone’s kid,” says Poindexter. “I would like to see them get a lot of these criminals off the street, you know.”
Teen girls say they’re watching out for each other, and they’re prepared to fight off a stranger.
“Men be trying to blow the horn and stuff and you just keep on walking,” says Kirby High Senior Jamelia Mark.
But if someone approaches them? “I’d probably run to like the nearest house, something. Do anything to get somebody’s attention,” says Kirby High Senior India Malone.
“In case somebody come up to you, you have a group of people to help you out. To protect yourself,” says Mark.
According to the police, Nugent was arrested with no identification, and charged with violation of the sex offender registration laws. He was arraigned Friday and remains in jail on a $3,500 bond.