ORLANDO, Fla. – The man accused of abducting a teenage girl in Orlando made his first court appearance Saturday, although he was not present in the courtroom, according to Local 10 sister station WKMG.
Alexander Roman Lopez is facing five separate charges including grand theft, fleeing, reckless driving, burglary and petit theft.
He is being held without bond at the Orange County Jail.
Deputies said Lopez is not cooperating with detectives and they are still searching for the young woman.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said an Amber alert was canceled after investigators with the Sheriff’s Office said they were made aware that the girl was spotted on video not injured and seemingly safe, shortly before Lopez was arrested. Investigators said she is not in any trouble and would just like to confirm who she is and to confirm she is safe.
Deputies said it was Lopez, 44, who was caught on camera struggling with the 16- or 17-year-old girl around 7 a.m. at a gas station in the 3200 block of South Goldenrod Road in Orlando. An Amber alert was issued hours later.
Video tweeted by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office shows the man at the counter of the convenience store near a girl wearing a baggy red T-shirt and dark-colored pants. The video shows Lopez yelling at the girl inside the convenience store.
Watch the surveillance video below
Corp. Nikki Harper said the clerk at the gas station thought the interaction between Lopez and the girl was alarming enough to call 911.
“So the information that we got from that clerk is that she made some very concerning statements inside that convenience store that alerted him that something wasn’t right and especially that alerted to him that she was a minor,” Harper said.
From there, the video jumps to outside the store, where the girl is seen getting into a silver Toyota RAV4.
Lopez approaches the passenger’s side while the girl is sitting there, and he appears to reach in the vehicle and shut the door, video shows. Deputies said Lopez forced the girl into the vehicle.
“There appears to be a scuffle, some resistance on her part,” Harper said.
Harper said that after the Amber alert was issued, a concerned citizen recognized the gray 2004 Toyota RAV4 with Florida tag 504RXA in Osceola County, got behind the vehicle and called 911 around 2 p.m.
About an hour later, authorities spotted the vehicle, which had been stolen out of another jurisdiction, in Orange County and pursued it when Lopez refused to pull over, according to Harper.
Lopez lost control during the pursuit and crashed into a retention pond.
Deputies said Lopez ran away from the crash scene but was taken into custody.
Deputies said they still don’t know the identity of the girl and they would still like to talk to her to see if she was victimized in any way.