Neighbors react to attempted kidnapping - WKRN News 2

Neighbors react to attempted kidnapping

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Matthew Harber, arrested for attempted kidnapping of a 12-year-old girl. Matthew Harber, arrested for attempted kidnapping of a 12-year-old girl.
OLD HICKORY, Tenn. -

Residents living in an Old Hickory neighborhood are concerned after learning a sex offender living in the area attempted to abduct a 12-year-old girl.

Matthew Harber, 27, tried to abduct the girl Friday, and was turned into police by his stepfather later that night.

Metro police arrested the 27-year-old after his stepfather called police after seeing a surveillance photo on television.

Harber is being charged with attempted especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual battery and is being held on a $200,000 bond.

He admitted to a detective that he grabbed the 12-year-old by the shoulder and put his hand over her mouth. He also admitted to grabbing the girl's breast.

Harber let the girl go when the victim's friends screamed and the market clerk came outside to intervene, police said.

Harber is already on Tennessee's Sex Offender Registry for a 2006 sexual battery conviction in Dickson County.

Denise Watkins lives down the street from Harber. She did not know the registered sex offender was living so close.

"Oh no, oh my goodness I had no idea." she said. "That is scary because I have my children in the yard close to the road."

Watkins' son conducted a sex offender search and found several living within a one mile radius, but Harber did not show up on the search.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations he updated his address to the Lakeshore Drive address in July.

Andy Agee lives down the street from Harber, he was on the scene of the attempted abduction shortly after it happened and talked to the man who scared Harber away.

"When he saw the little girl, he knew it wasn't someone who kind of stepped out and scared her." Agee said. "He said the little girl's face was terrified, absolutely terrified."

He continued, "It is something she will never forget."

Agee also did not recognize Harber from the neighborhood.

"I am glad he has been caught, this little girl will live with this for the rest of her life," he said.
Gerber remains in a Davidson County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court October 18.

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