A 26-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of rape following a manhunt in south-west London.
Earlier today the Metropolitan Police launched an appeal to track down Kadian Nelson, 26, following an attack in the North Place area of Merton at around 7am this morning.
Pictures and videos shared on social media claimed a witness followed an assailant attempting to kidnap a teenager.
A woman can be heard asking the man whether he knows the girl before he walks away. The child is heard crying ‘thank you, thank you’.
Police urged the suspect to turn himself in ‘for his own safety’ amid reports of vigilante groups looking for him.
A Section 60 Order was authorised for the boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth and remains in place – granting police additional stop and search powers, due to fears of serious violence.
The Met said the child was being supported by specialist officers while officers patrolled the area.
The victim and her family have been informed that a suspect has been arrested and remains in custody.
In a statement Mitcham and Morden MP Siobhain McDonagh MP said: ‘My heart goes out to the young girl who was abducted in Mitcham on her way to school this morning.
‘The extraordinary bravery of a lady who followed and filmed them has almost certainly saved the victim from even further distress and has provided the police extremely important evidence for what I sincerely hope will be the swift apprehension and the early arrest of the attacker.’
During today’s appeal Detective Superintendant Owain Richards said: ‘I recognise that this is a shocking and distressing incident and emotions locally are running very high.
‘We are of course aware of videos and images circulating on social media, and of groups of people attending various addresses.
‘I urge those people to go home. Do not try to take the law into your own hands or you may end up doing something you regret and potentially face police action yourself.’
The force also asked people to remember that a police investigation is currently ongoing and that they should be ‘mindful of sharing information via social media that could identify the alleged victim, or affect any potential future proceedings’.
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