Man accused in Escondido kidnapping pleads not guilty

VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - A man charged with trying to kidnap a 15-year-old Orange Glen High School student on her way to school was arraigned in a Vista courthouse Wednesday.

Edgar Gutierrez pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted kidnapping, assault with intent to commit a lewd act on a minor, false imprisonment by violence, and lewd act on a 15-year-old, according to the San Diego District Attorney's Office. 

Gutierrez, 28, faces a maximum of nine years in prison. His bail has been set at $1 million. A readiness hearing is scheduled for Oct. 11 and a preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 8.

RELATED: Immigration hold against kidnapping suspect in Escondido

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has also placed an immigration hold on Gutierrez. ICE said in a statement to 10News they place 'immigration detainers when the agency possesses probable cause to believe an alien is amenable to removal proceedings ... In addition to being amenable to removal proceedings, Mr. Gutierrez-Gonzalez has prior criminal convictions, including one for DUI."

Authorities say Gutierrez tried to abduct a 15-year-old girl in the 600 block of Linwood Street just after 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 31. The teen was able to fight off Gutierrez and run away. She was not injured.

RELATED: School district: Orange Glen High student fights off would-be kidnapper

The teen made contact with nearby residents, who snapped a picture of Gutierrez leaving the area. A coworker also recognized him in news reports, helping lead police and U.S. Marshall agents to his location shortly after the incident occurred.

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