‘I’m not going to hurt you’: Jacksonville man charged with aggravated stalking

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It wasn’t enough for a local teen to say “no” and run from a stranger in a car.

RELATED: Police: Jacksonville man charged with aggravated stalking after approaching girl walking to bus stop

Police say a man followed a teenager to a bank parking lot, where he then got out of his car and put his hands on her leg and arm.

Luckily another woman intervened, and the girl got away from the man, who has now been charged with aggravated stalking.

DJ’s Record Shop owner Jerry West has been on the corner of Edison and McDuff for 53 years. He considers himself a father to the neighborhood kids.

“A lot of times when they have a problem, I ask them to come talk to me and see if I can help them,” West said.

When he heard a local teen was stalked and harassed by a strange man while walking to school just down the street from him, he thought about his own great-grandkids.

“What I tell the kids, especially small kids, to walk in groups. don’t hold a conversation with anybody,” West said.

A 45-year-old man is behind bars after police say he followed a 13-year-old girl to her school bus stop. The girl told police she was being followed by a truck while walking.

She said the man, who has since been identified as Rodney Aiken, told her “hey baby come and get in the car, I’m not going to hurt you.”

The teen told him no and ran away.

Police say he followed her to a parking lot, got out of the car and touched the teen on her leg and arm.

Aiken told police he was offering her a ride to the bus stop and wanted to make sure she was okay.

It wasn’t until a woman dropping off another child saw Aiken and asked him to leave the teen alone that he took off.

Across the street, Sho’off Kuts and Accessories owner Markin Barnes said the incident makes him worry about his own kids.

“I do have twin girls so it touched me in a sense where I feel like I need to be more protective of my girls and their whereabouts and where they’re going,” Barnes said.

He said he wishes the teen had known his shop was a safe place to run to. He wants all the neighborhood kids to know they can come if they’re in trouble.

“My clients know that they can stop by anytime. They can come through if there’s danger,” Barnes said.

The same goes for West.

“I think the kids know that this is a safe place,” West said.

Community leaders said it’s crimes like this we forget can happen right in our own neighborhoods.

“We all need to have those conversations with our children to make sure they know to be careful when they’re out.” said pastor Mark Griffin, with Wayman Ministries.

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Pastor Griffin stressed the need for kids to walk together in groups and be aware of their surroundings.

“The thing that concerns me most about what just happened is I have a 7-year-old granddaughter. I can only imagine how I would be feeling as well as my daughter and son-in-law if something happened to my granddaughter,” pastor Griffin said.

According to JSO inmate records, Aiken was also charged with possession of cocaine and criminal mischief in this incident.

Action News Jax dug through Aiken’s criminal history. We found at least 17 prior arrests in Duval County where he was found guilty of various charges, including 8 felony arrests.

We also learned he was released from jail after being arrested for drugs exactly one more before this stalking arrest.