Afternoon kidnapping avoided – police make arrest

At about 2:30 p.m. today, a 21-year-old female reported to police that while she was walking on the sidewalk along Orange Street she was approached by a man who attempted to get her into his newer model white Chevrolet Suburban or Tahoe, but she managed to escape.

According to the report received by Historic City News this evening, 25-year-old William Ross Cesery III of Jacksonville attempted to kidnap the female victim; but, his attempt was thwarted when another vehicle pulled up behind and honked the car horn at him.

The victim described her encounter with Cesery, saying a white male with curly blonde hair, wearing a blue tank top, pulled up beside her asking if she needed a ride. When she declined, Cesery reportedly continued to follow her in his vehicle, asking her repeatedly to take a ride with him, at one point offering to take her to smoke marijuana with him. She told Cesery to leave her alone, then she says he pulled ahead of her, into a driveway, blocking her path. Cesery exited his vehicle, approached the victim on foot, telling her how beautiful she was, and then he forcibly grabbed her arm and told her “just come with me” while pulling her towards his vehicle. The victim was able to break free from his grip, Cesery returned to his truck and drove away.

The victim told police that she had never met the would-be kidnapper, but she was willing to go with the officer to the police station and be interviewed further. Along their route, south on Riberia Street, the officer spotted a vehicle matching the description provided by the victim.

The vehicle was occupied by a white male and appeared to be driving slowly next to another girl who was walking on the sidewalk. The officer reported that when the victim saw the vehicle, she called out, “that’s him!”

When additional officers arrived, Cesery was stopped and was identified by the victim. Cesery was taken into custody and transported to the police station to be interviewed. He requested to speak to an attorney and the interview was concluded. Cesery was arrested and booked into the St. Johns County Jail without incident. He remains in custody without bond until his first appearance in the morning.

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