‘I just gave her a hug:’ Man accused of attempted Aurora kidnapping denies wrongdoing

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AURORA, Colo. -- There are new details about a man charged with the attempted kidnapping and unlawful sexual contact of a young girl.

The surveillance video is haunting. It shows a man in a hood sprinting down Exposition Avenue in Aurora.

Tyler Christensen, the man charged in the case, is a registered sex offender.

“He didn’t want to get caught,” James Kissel said. Cameras outside his home recorded who police believe are the suspect and victim in the incident.

Minutes before the man is seen running, an unassuming 11-year-old girl walks past Kissel’s camera. She had just gotten off the school bus around 5 p.m. on Oct. 11. She told police a tall man approached her and “grabbed her around her stomach”. As she screamed, he covered her mouth. She then "bit his right ring finger until he let go of her.”

“I can’t believe that we have predators like that,” Kissel said.

As police swarmed the neighborhood going door to door, they stumbled upon Kissel and the very images they needed to crack the case.

“It was a shock that was the guy on my camera,” Kissel said.

Police internally shared Kissel’s surveillance image. Just one day after the attack, a patrol officer spotted a man matching the description at the RTD Nine Mile Station. Christensen told police about the incident. He said, “I really wasn’t thinking much at all. I just walked by her and gave her a hug.”

Christensen  was previously arrested for a sex offense 11 years ago in Grand Junction. He told officers “he had previously been criminally charged for an incident in which he had fondled a woman.” He told police he underwent therapy during which sexual urges were discussed. Christensen told detectives when he saw the girl, he "had an urge."

"I’m going to be truthful. I’m not going to hold that back. I did have an urge. I didn’t know how old she was," Christensen said.

Even with Christensen under arrest, the attempted abduction leaves neighbors on edge.

“It’s scary. It’s scary now. I feel like I can’t leave my kids alone at all,” Elizabeth Moreno said.

Kissel said he’s glad he played a role in helping police and plans to stay vigilant.

“I’m just a protector of the neighborhood. The police are the real heroes because of the way they got on it real fast,” Kissel said.

Christensen will be back in court on Nov. 20 for a preliminary hearing.

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