A fast-acting 11-year-old armed with a digital camera helped guide police to a man she said tried to lure her from a Denver park into his car.
Mohammed Al Hamdani, 39, was arrested Tuesday and is being held at the Denver City Jail on suspicion of child enticement, Denver police spokesman John White told ABC News.
Investigators have 72 hours to present the case to the Denver District Attorney's Office for formal charges. Hamdani was expected to make his first appearance in court today, according to an office spokeswoman.
Hamdani was identified by Denver police as a would-be kidnapper after they released a photograph taken Saturday by an undentified girl who claimed that Hamdani approached her at a city park on Saturday.
"At some point, he tried to get this 11-year-old to go with her to his car," White said. "She was pretty savvy, pretty smart, and was somehow able to convince the suspect to allow her to take his picture."
The girl started to walk with Hamdani toward the vehicle, but fled on foot and alerted police, handing over the camera, White said. The picture was released to the local media, and by Tuesday, authorities had identified Hamdani as their suspect.
The photo shows a crouching Hamdani, described by the girl as a man in his 30s with a slight build who spoke broken English. He wears a striped, shortsleeve shirt and is smiling slightly, a nonthreatening appearance White described as typical to child predators.
"An individual looking for a child wants to look friendly, he wants to look like he can be trusted," White said. "That's one of the main tools that these people use, but in the end their motive is much more dangerous."
Lynn Kimbrough, a spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney, said bond will be set for Hamdani at his scheduled appearance today and that prosecutors will review the case before filing formal charges.
It was unclear whether Hamdani had hired an attorney or if he had any previous criminal record.
White, the Denver police spokesman, used Hamdani's case as a reminder to parents to be vigilant as summer vacation begins and children head off — in some cases, alone — to local parks.
"Even though this went a favorable way, she very well could have been abducted," White said.