Tampa police openly criticize Escondido police over kidnapping case

TPD says Escondido police should have acted faster

ESCONDIDO - Tony McLeod never made eye contact as he shuffled up to a Tampa judge in hand and leg shackles Wednesday. 

The 36-year-old is accused of meeting a 14-year-old Escondido boy online, playing video games and developing a relationship with him. Investigators say McLeod even sent the teen nude pictures and video of himself.

Then on Monday, police said McLeod got on a plane, flew more than 3,000 miles from Tampa to California, picked the boy up in Escondido, drove to Los Angeles and then boarded a plane back to Florida with the boy.

Tampa police arrested McLeod the second he got off the plane and charged him with four felonies.

Now, this is where it gets delicate because Tampa police are openly criticizing Escondido police for not acting faster and filing charges against McLeod.

Andrea Davis, a spokeswoman for the Tampa Police Department told 10News, "When there weren't charges late last night, we made the decision to charge him ourselves. We weren't letting him walk out of this building because we do believe he is a threat to our community."

Escondido police are responding, saying it is a complicated case. 10News reporter Itica Milanes asked Escondido Capt. Mike Loarie why charges had not been filed by the time McLeod landed in Tampa.

Loarie said, "Because he is being held in Tampa and we have some time that sense of urgency still exists but there is a high-degree of importance that we do this right."

Tampa police said when they asked McLeod why he did it he had several excuses and none of them made sense.

As of Wednesday evening, Escondido police had not filed any charges against McLeod.

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