Please note an arrest does not constitute a conviction. The suspect has been charged with, but not convicted of, the charges.
According to Gwinnett County Police, Jean Souffrant, 40, of Lawrenceville, was arrested on Sept. 17, 2012 and charged with one count of kidnapping in connection with an attempted child abduction.
Snellville Police urge parents to remain vigilant in protecting their children. In an email from the Grayson Athletic Association, which Snellville PD posted on their Facebook page, the suspect allegedly tried to lure children away four separate times.
In a press release, a spokesman for GCPD said officers from the East Precinct responded to a call for a suspicious person at Bay Creek Park in Loganville.
"Information given by the caller explained that a black male approximately 5’11”, wearing a white t-shirt, blue shorts, glasses and flip flops was acting strange, approaching children at a football practice and trying to get them to leave with him," Detective J.R. Flanagan wrote in a press release. "According to the caller, the suspicious male tried to leave with two separate juveniles; both of which were able to get away from the male and were safe with the 911 caller."
Flanagan said officers identified Souffrant when they arrived at the park and although he denied talking to any children, he was unable to provide any legitimate reason for being at the park.
"In speaking with officers, Souffrant was unable to speak clearly and his explanations changed several times while being interviewed," Flanagan said.
Flanagan said that after speaking with several witnesses and the two children whom Souffrant approached, they determined that Souffrant approached one juvenile at the concession stand, grabbing him and dragging him against his will towards the bleachers next to one of the field entrances.
"When approached by a concerned parent, Souffrant released the juvenile and told him to leave. The juvenile involved stated that he was afraid of what Souffrant might have done," Flanagan said in the release.
According to the Grayson Athletic Association:
"During middle school age group football practices there was a man that attempted to communicate with a teenage sibling and a mother of some of our 8th grade players to see if they were alone. Then later in the evening when it was dark that same man approached younger siblings of other players practicing trying to get them to his car.
"Fortunately the mother that was being followed and bothered earlier, saw his attempts and had called the Gwinnett Police Department about this man’s suspicious behavior and they arrested the man before he could leave Bay Creek Park with a 9 year old football player from Grayson that did not know him."
Souffrants was arrested and charged with one count of kidnapping as a result, Flanagan said. It is not known at this time if the suspect was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. He is currently being held at the Gwinnett County Detention Center without bond.
The parents of the juvenile are pressing charges, and the others who were approached are also coming forward.