SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts man suspected of abducting an 11-year-old girl as she walked home from school was held without bail Thursday pending a hearing to determine whether he is a danger to society, and was ordered by a judge to undergo a 15-day mental competency evaluation.
Not guilty pleas to charges including kidnapping were entered on behalf of Miguel Rodriguez, 24, of Springfield, at his arraignment in Springfield District Court.
His attorney objected to the court-ordered evaluation and instead sought funds for a private evaluation, but was overruled. The dangerousness hearing was scheduled for Wednesday. If he is deemed dangerous, Rodriguez can be held for four months without bail.
Charlotte Moccia, of Springfield, was forced into a blue car by a man around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday after getting off the school bus, sparking an Amber Alert police said. Rodriguez did not know the child, police said.
A resident reported seeing a girl being dragged into a car screaming.
She was recovered by state police troopers on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after a motorist reported seeing a car being sought in connection to the abduction, state police spokesman David Procopio said. Charlton is about 30 miles east of Springfield.
Charlotte, a student at Hampden Charter School of Science, was taken to the hospital as a precaution although she appeared uninjured, authorities aid.
The suspect’s father, Henry Rodriguez, told Masslive.com that his son has a history of schizophrenia and paranoia and had refused to take medication. He said he was grateful the girl was found and apologized to her family.
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