LOCAL NEWS

Man arrested after following, filming high school girls in West Valley City

Oct 10, 2023, 5:18 PM | Updated: 6:23 pm

WEST VALLEY CITY — The Granite School District credited the fast actions of two Granger High School girls who say a man tried to lure them and started filming them as they tried to get away.

The school district also described how police found some troubling items on the man, that led to his arrest.

Sitting across from Granger High on Monday, two girls said two men approached them and began to talk to the teens. One man left, said Granite School District spokesperson Ben Horsley, but the other wouldn’t walk away.

“He’s a young-looking individual and maybe even the girls themselves, when they first started talking with him, thought that he was one of their fellow students at the school,” he said.

Horsley continued to explain that the man pretended to know the students and tried to get them to leave with him.

“He tried to coerce them by indicating they were already conversing via Instagram on social media, and that one of the girl’s fathers had contacted him to take her home,” he said.

The girls, feeling uncomfortable, left and crossed the street back toward the high school. Horsley said the man began to follow them and according to charging documents, he started to film them.

Heading straight for the office, the students told the Granger High principal, and Horsley explained the principal alerted Granite Police. Officers found the alleged creeper on campus.

“To follow them on the school property just demonstrated that this person was doing inappropriate things,” Horsley said.

He explained that the man was arrested for trespassing.

21-year-old Jonathan Martinez Calata also racked up additional charges, with court documents stating officers found a police badge on him, brass knuckles, stolen credit cards, and illegal drugs. Horsley believed Calata also had a warrant out for his arrest already.

Horsley said brass knuckles are classified as a weapon and banned on campus.

It’s possible Calata could face an attempted child kidnapping charge and impersonating an officer, according to charging documents. Horsley clarified that Calata was not pretending to be an officer in this instance.

Horsley said police are looking for that second person who originally walked up with Calata, hoping to talk to him about what was going on.

He urged parents to talk to their kids, and if someone makes them uncomfortable in any way on or off school property, to tell a trusted adult like a counselor, principal, or police officer.

He also suggested that when students leave school, they stay with a buddy or a group just like those girls did.

Horsley explained that thankfully these girls were okay, thanks to seeking safety at the school.

“Clearly he was over the line and aggressive,” he said. “And these girls did the right thing by coming back to a safe place where they could get the help of adults.”

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Man arrested after following, filming high school girls in West Valley City