Man accused in 2 attempted abductions minutes apart in Riverside

By Corley Peel - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A man was arrested Tuesday in connection with two different attempted abductions minutes apart at a Riverside bus stop, according to a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrest report.

Jonathon Spence, 34, is charged with two counts of kidnapping, the arrest report shows.

Police said the incidents happened around 3 p.m. Tuesday at a bus stop off Stockton Street and Riverside Avenue. Investigators said at least one of the attempted kidnappings involved a child. The age of the second victim wasn't revealed in the report.

“I mean, normally this stuff don’t happen at all in this neighborhood, let alone we’re in Riverside," said John Cieszynski, who lives in the neighborhood. "This is a nice area.”

Another Riverside resident, who wished to remain anonymous, was shocked to learn what happened nearby.

“We don’t even feel like we need to keep the doors locked because we’re in a beautiful neighborhood with very beautiful homes. We wouldn’t expect something like that to happen," the resident said. "It's very shocking.”

According to the arrest report, a family was standing at the bus stop when Spence approached a child who was walking down the sidewalk with an adult. The report was heavily redacted, so it's unclear how Spence allegedly tried to take the child, but it said he yelled racial slurs. Fortunately, the child got away. 

Minutes later, according to the arrest report, Spence tried to kidnap a second person at the same bus stop. The witnesses flagged down police, who ultimately took Spence into custody.

Despite the disturbing incidents minutes apart, residents said they still feel safe in Riverside.

“You can’t go around living life worried about what may happen. This is a beautiful neighborhood. This is a very safe neighborhood. Probably an isolated incident," the unnamed resident said. "I don’t suspect to see anything like this happen ever again.”

Investigators said Spence refused to make any statements once they put him in handcuffs. As of Friday evening, he was being held in the Duval County jail without bond, jail records show. 

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