A Bloomfield Hills man was arraigned Monday on sexual assault and attempted child abduction charges stemming from an incident in Royal Oak over the weekend, authorities said.
Derek Joseph Wallin, 24, remained at the Oakland County Jail Tuesday morning on $100,000 bond on one count of attempted kidnapping, and one count criminal sexual conduct — fourth degree, jail record show. He is accused of attempted to lure a 14-year-old Royal Oak girl into his silver Chevrolet Camaro in the area of Normandy and Tonawanda streets at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The girl was walking alone in the area when he approached and offered her a ride and marijuana, police said.
The girl refused and continued walking toward her home while she called her mother on her cell phone. A short time later, the girl was approached from behind by the suspect. The man grabbed her, picked her up and fondled her, police said. The girl began screaming and told her mother, over the phone, to call the police.
The girl struggled to free herself and the man eventually dropped her and ran back to his vehicle, according to police.
"The 14-year-old is fine, although she is a bit shaken up," Royal Oak Police Lt. Tom Goad said on Tuesday.
Just prior to this incident, Royal Oak officers were in the area and had observed a silver Camaro parked in a suspicious manner, Goad said.
Goad said the officers logged the license plate and were checking the area for any criminal activity when officers saw a man run to the Camaro and drive away at a high rate of speed just as a radio broadcast of the attempted abduction was dispatched.
Police said the officers quickly turned around and tried to catch up to the man’s vehicle but due to the traffic and the reckless driving of the suspect, they were unable to catch up to the vehicle and lost sight of it on northbound Woodward.
The vehicle was registered out of Bloomfield Hills and Royal Oak and Bloomfield Hills officers responded to that address. Police Chief Rick Matott said local officers only assisted Royal Oak police with the arrest warrant, and that their investigators identified Wallin as the suspect and arrested him without incident.
Attempted kidnapping is a felony that carries a maximum five-year prison sentence upon conviction. Criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree is a two-year misdemeanor. Wallin faces a preliminary hearing in 44th District Court next week.
The incident shocked many Royal Oak residents, but some expressed that they were impressed with the quick work of the police.
"That's horrible, thank God she was able to call her mom and the police were in the area," said John Rasmussen of Royal Oak on Tuesday. "I never leave my kids alone or let them go anywhere unless they have a cell phone on them."
"The cops did an amazing job. I'm so glad they caught the guy," said Tina Stefanski of Royal Oak. She said the incident gave her the chills.