Police: Man Tries To Entice Teen, Gets Punched By Mom

August 15th, 2011 by Staff

DES MOINES, Iowa – Police said a 48-year-old man has been charged with trying to lure a 13-year-old girl into a Des Moines alley.

Polk County jail records indicate that Robert Harding, of Des Moines, is being held on two charges: enticing a minor under 16 and a parole violation.

Police said the girl was playing outside near her home on Wednesday when Harding waved from the alley near the 900 block of Buchanan Street and motioned for her to join him. She went to tell her mother, Holly Pullen, instead.

“It’s horrible, it’s a nightmare, it’s not one that I think any parent wants to go through,” said Pullen. “All she could say is he’s staring at us and he won’t go away. I know at one point he was motioning at her to try and get her to go up the alley.”

Police said that when Pullen confronted Harding, he asked how old the girl was and whether he could marry her or would be interested in signing the girl away.

“I got down to the alley and I confronted him. I said, ‘Why are you staring at the kids?’ and he looks at me and says, ‘I want to marry the red head,’ I came unglued at that point. I was like ‘Dude, she’s only 13 that’s my daughter,’” said Pullen.

Pullen said the man had broken English, but insisted that he wanted to marry the girl.

“When I told him ‘no,’ asked me if I would be willing to sign paper work so he could get married to her and I told him no and then I hit him,” said Pullen.

Police said Pullen punched Harding in the face. Then the girl’s father and one of his friends chased Harding and fought with him.

When police arrived at Fremont Street, the fight was over. Police questioned Harding who they said told them that he was trying to get the girl into the alley “So I can marry her and sex her.” Police said he told them he said he knew she was a minor and that he liked “young girls.”

Harding was transported to Broadlawns to be treated for a cut to his right eye before being taken to the Polk County Jail.

He’s charged with enticing a minor under the age of 16, which is punishable up 4 years in prison. He’s being held on $15,000 bond.
A no contact order had been placed on Harding. He must stay away from all juveniles under the age of 18 and any location where juveniles are regularly located or may be found unattended.

Harding is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 19 at 8 a.m.

Harding’s criminal history includes convictions for weapons possession, drugs and domestic abuse causing bodily injury. He is also due in court on a public intoxication charge next Tuesday.

“I don’t know what was going through his head. I really don’t because when I confronted him you couldn’t smell anything. The man was sober,” said Pullen.

Pullen said her daughter has been scared since the incident and afraid to go outside.

One Response

  1. Nicole S

    I was listening to you this morning & heard you talking about this. What a freaking creeper! I’m not a big mama like you were saying this Mom was, I’m only 5’1″ & 105lbs but I would have brought a freakin bat out to beat this guy! Love your show Bubba! :)

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