Florida man, 36, accused of luring 14-year-old Escondido boy he met online

Tony McLeod arrested in Tampa; Boy in custody

ESCONDIDO, Calif. - A Florida man was jailed Tuesday for allegedly abducting a 14-year-old Escondido boy he had befriended online.

Tony McLeod, 36, was arrested in his hometown of Tampa, Fla., Tuesday morning after he and the alleged victim arrived there on a commercial flight out of Los Angeles, according to the Escondido Police Department.

The alleged victim was taken into protective custody until he could be reunited with his family, EPD Lt. Neal Griffin said.

McLeod initially contacted the teen via an Internet game, and the nature of their subsequent online relationship prompted the youth's parents to contact the police late last month, according to police.

On Monday, the boy's family reported that he had failed to return home from school. Investigators determined that the suspect had traveled to California and allegedly "enticed the victim to leave Escondido with him," Griffin said.

Detectives then alerted law enforcement in Tampa that McLeod and the boy were en route there on an airliner, the lieutenant said.

No immediate word on the charges McLeod may face.

The investigation is ongoing, Escondido police said.

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