PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. – A Flagler County man tried to lure a local 16-year-old girl to meet up for sex but, instead, he was greeted by her parents and deputies.
EXCLUSIVE: A Flagler County man tried to lure a 16-year-old girl to meet up for sex. Instead, he was greeted by her parents and law enforcement. Find out what the parents did when caught the 27-year-old trying to message their daughter only on @ActionNewsJax at 10 & 11. pic.twitter.com/nTNk3jFAXk
— Dani Bozzini (@DaniANjax) October 16, 2019
The parents said 27-year-old Joseph Stream sent an inappropriate message to their daughter through Facebook Messenger. Jacob Laubenthal said that’s when he took over and responded to the message.
“I said, “Well I’m only 16.” He said, “I don’t care.'” Laubenthal said.
Laubenthal and his wife, Patricia Nelson, took their 16-year-old daughter’s phone when, they said, a text popped up on her Facebook Messenger from Stream.
“Basically he said he wanted to have sexual relations with my daughter,” said Laubenthal.
He said he played along, pretending to be his daughter.
Nelson said, “It’s disturbing to just think that a guy, a grown man, could have intercourse with a child or want to.”
Stream was so eager to meet their 16-year-old daughter, he drove from Flagler County to a gas station near Palatka at 2 a.m.
“I just parked behind him, and my wife had the cops on the phone and had all the evidence there, so now we’re going to prosecute him for it.” Laubenthal said.
It’s the ending the parents were hoping for, and it came about because they just happened to be checking their daughter’s phone.
They’ve installed a parental control app since the incident occurred.
“She gets a Facebook message my phone alerts as soon as any messages go through,” said Nelson.
Laubenthal said he hopes their story serves as a reminder to other parents to check their kids’ phones.
“You’ll probably end up getting backlash from your children for it, but is it worth their safety? Yeah, in our opinion.”
The FBI has a link with information on how kids can spot online dangers.
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