LOGANVILLE -- Gwinnett police have charged a man with trying to abduct children one evening this week at a Loganville park.
Lawrenceville resident Jean Souffrant, 40, was arrested Monday at Bay Creek Park on Ozora Road after he allegedly tried to lure -- or, in one case, drag -- children away.
Police received a report of a suspicious person about 7:30 p.m. at the park. The 911 caller said the man was approaching children at a football practice and trying to convince them to leave with him, said Gwinnett police spokesman Detective J.R. Flanagan.
"According to the caller, the suspicious male tried to leave with two separate juveniles," Flanagan said, but both "were able to get away ... and were safe with the 911 caller."
At the park, witnesses told police that Souffrant became more physical with another juvenile, grabbing him near a concession stand and attempting to drag him toward some bleachers, Flanagan said.
The boy "stated that he was afraid of what Souffrant might have done," Flanagan said.
Officers quickly identified Souffrant, who denied talking to any children at the park but was unable to provide a legitimate reason for his being there. Whether or not he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not yet known, Flanagan said.
"In speaking with officers, Souffrant was unable to speak clearly and his explanations changed several times while being interviewed," Flanagan said.
Police arrested Souffrant at the park on a felony charge of kidnapping. He remains at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond, pending a probable cause hearing.
Court records indicate Souffrant has no criminal history in Gwinnett County.