Man charged with trying to kidnap teen girl near Granger High School

Oct 23, 2023, 2:45 PM

Granger High School (KSL TV)...

Granger High School (KSL TV)


WEST VALLEY CITY — A Taylorsville man has been charged with threatening two teenage girls near a high school and attempting to abduct one of them.

Jonathan Martinez Calata, 21, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with attempted aggravated kidnapping, a second-degree felony; four counts of unlawful possession of a bank card, a third-degree felony; having a weapon on school property and drug possession, class A misdemeanors; and marijuana possession and trespassing on school property, class B misdemeanors.

A no-bail arrest warrant was served Monday on Calata, who has remained in the Salt Lake County Jail since his arrest on Oct. 9.

On that day, a 16-year-old girl reported that “an unknown male threatened and attempted to kidnap her.” The girl and her friend were eating lunch near Granger High School when two men, including Calata, approached them. Calata asked the girls to go back to his house with him and they said, “No,” according to charging documents.

The girls began walking back to the school, but the men followed. Calata told the 16-year-old’s friend that she could leave, and he had “chosen” the 16-year-old girl, the charges state. Calata then allegedly told the girl that he had been sent by her father to pick her up.

Calata put his hand in his backpack and told the teen, “Let’s go.” The girl was afraid that Calata “had a weapon and was going to hurt them,” and later told police they feared “Calata and the other male might act violently towards them,” the charges say.

“Other friends of (the girl) joined them as they walked back to the school and Calata told (the girl) that she needed to come with him, or he would hurt the friends that had joined them,” according to the charging documents.

Calata then used his phone to record the group as they walked. The other man “followed behind them the whole time and (the girl) felt as if he was preventing them from escaping. Calata continued to follow the girls back into the school where he was confronted by Granite School District police,” the charges state.

When police searched Calata, they reported finding four bank cards that were not his, brass knuckles, amphetamines and a THC vape pen.

“When showing police the video he took while following the girls he asked the officer, ‘Did you see how scared they were?’ while smiling,” prosecutors wrote in the charges.

“We applaud the young people that saw a potentially dangerous situation and quickly reached out to friends to help provide safety in numbers. We appreciate the quick actions of the Granite School District police officer that helped identify the danger Mr. Calata presented to the students on Granger High School campus,” Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said in a statement Monday.

Calata is scheduled to make his initial appearance in court on Tuesday. As of Monday, no charges had been filed against the man who was with Calata, whom police have yet to identify but would like to question.

When Calata was searched, Granite School District police officers also said he was in possession of a law enforcement badge. The investigation into how Calata got the badge and what he was doing with it is ongoing.

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Man charged with trying to kidnap teen girl near Granger High School