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Teen's text stops alleged assault

BUFORD - A recent incident near Buford may illustrate that text-messaging isn't an entirely destructive behavior.

A 16-year-old girl told police she was able to fire off a text message to friends as an assailant was dragging her by the neck to a wooded area in her neighborhood.

Three friends came looking for her in response to the text, thwarting what the victim believes was going to be a sexual assault.

Nearly two weeks after the Aug. 20 attack, police arrested Jose Hernandez-Ruiz, 19, Tuesday on charges of kidnapping and sexual battery. He remains in the Gwinnett County Jail without bond.

The teen told police she recognized Hernandez-Ruiz as an acquaintance of her friends. She said he hangs around her neighborhood, Countryside Village of Gwinnett on Horizon Parkway, but she doesn't know him personally, according to a police report.

Hernandez-Ruiz allegedly approached the girl about 9 p.m. while driving a red Mitsubishi Eclipse with two other males. He exited the vehicle and pushed her toward a park area, then choked her with one hand while fondling her with the other, according to his arrest warrants.

All the while, the other two men yelled at Hernandez-Ruiz in Spanish. He drove away when three of the girl's friends responded to the area, the report says.

The teen told police she "was not physically injured, but just emotionally upset," a responding officer wrote.

Jail officials have placed a hold on Hernandez-Ruiz for federal immigration and customs enforcement. He lived in Sugar Hill and worked construction, according to his booking information.