A Chillum man is in custody after allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl in Lewisdale, and Prince George’s County police said he also confessed to a similar incident a month ago.
Charles Asuming Amofa, 25, was arrested without incident around 1:30 p.m. Monday after a county police officer received a report of a missing child and, minutes later, noticed the silhouette of a small girl holding hands with an adult at a playground in the distance.
Officer First Class Fredys Castro-Rivas said he notified the father of the 6-year-old after he confronted the two in the West Park playground at Chapman Street and West Park Drive.
According to county police, Amofa had driven to Value Village Thrift Store on University Boulevard in Lewisdale where he enticed the victim, who was inside the store with her father at the time, to come outside with him by saying there were toys he wanted to show her.
The father of the 6-year-old released a statement to the police, but asked for his identity to remain undisclosed.
“People should realize it only takes 30 seconds and your daughter or son would disappear just like that ... She was gone very quickly,” he said in the statement. “Regarding Officer Castro-Rivas, I want to thank him for the rest of the my life. If it wasn’t for him, who knows what would [have] happen . I am very grateful.”
Castro-Rivas said he felt there was something wrong when he first saw Amofa and the victim from a distance.
“I could only think about what if my daughter was missing,” he said, noting that he has a 3-year-old daughter. “When I approached the girl, all she had in her face were tears. She was saying, ‘I want my daddy, I want my daddy.’”
Police said less than 30 minutes elapsed between when the girl went missing and when Castro-Rivas found her. In that time, Detective Luis Machicote said the suspect inappropriately touched her at the playground’s swing set and while sitting down at a nearby tree in the afternoon while there were others in the park.
“Always keep your child next to you. There’s nothing that should distract you from your child,” Machicote said regarding advice to other parents.
After the arrest, police said Amofa confessed to a July 8 incident where he enticed an 8-year-old girl out of the same store. Police said he confessed that he brought her to a vacant property and attempted to get her to walk through a door when she refused and ran away from him after an altercation.
Machicote said these are the only two child sex offense incidents for which police believe Amofa is responsible.
Relating to Monday’s incident, Amofa is charged with kidnapping, second-degree sex offense, second-degree assault and child abuse, Machicote said.
For the July 8 incident, he is charged with kidnapping, second-degree assault and fourth-degree sex offense, Machicote said.
Defense attorney information for Amofa was not listed with the courts Tuesday, according to online Prince George’s County District Court records.
A residence phone number for Amofa could not be located.