AIKEN - Aiken authorities have arrested a Johnston man and charged him with kidnapping a teen girl from the Aiken Mall and raping her.
Wayne D. Gibson Jr., 27, of the 400 block of May Street, was booked into the Aiken County Detention Center and charged with kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Investigators with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office and Aiken Department of Public Safety say Mr. Gibson took the 17-year-old girl from the parking lot of the mall Tuesday night, drove her to an area near Camp Long Road and raped her.
She called for help from a phone at Kent's Korner on Indian Trail Road shortly after 9 p.m., said Lt. Michael Frank, spokesman for the sheriff's office.
Mr. Gibson was there and was arrested at that time, he said.
The sheriff's office lodged the rape charge against Mr. Gibson. The kidnapping charge was filed by city police.
Detective Marty Sawyer, spokesman for the city police agency, said the New Ellenton girl was in the parking lot near the mall's food court at about 8:30 p.m. when Mr. Gibson approached her and offered her a ride.
She accepted, he said, and they began walking to his car.
"She got a bad feeling about it, decided she wasn't going to do it, but he snatched her pocketbook and forced her to go with him," Detective Sawyer said.
Detective Sawyer said the girl had been dropped off at the mall and had planned on calling someone to pick her up when Mr. Gibson approached her.
"We don't have any indication that they knew each other," he said.
According to the sheriff's report, the girl locked herself in a back room at the gas station.
She told officers that Mr. Gibson drove her to somewhere on Wire Road near Camp Long Road in his 1998 Buick.
She was taken to Aiken Regional Medical Centers for an exam.
Reach Sandi Martin at (803) 648-1395, ext. 111, or email@example.com.