A Taylorsville, Utah man, Jonathan Martinez Calata, has been arrested and is facing multiple felony charges after allegedly attempting to kidnap a 16-year-old Granger High School student. The incident occurred on October 9 when Calata and another unidentified man approached the victim and her friend during their lunch break off campus. Calata reportedly asked the teenagers to accompany him to his house, but they declined. Despite their refusal, Calata and the other man continued to follow them as they walked back to the school.
According to court documents, Calata later claimed to be a friend of the victim’s father and insisted that he was sent to pick her up. Fearing for their safety, the victim and her friend continued walking towards the school. Calata allegedly placed his hand inside his backpack and told the victim, “Let’s go,” leading her to believe he had a weapon. The girls reported feeling threatened and believed the men would act violently if they tried to escape.
As they made their way back to the school, the students managed to gather other friends around them for support. Calata allegedly began threatening the victim, stating that she must go with him or he would harm her friends. Throughout the entire journey to the Granger High Campus, Calata allegedly followed the students, recording them with his phone.
Upon reaching the campus, Granite School District Police confronted Calata and took him into custody. During a search, authorities discovered four financial cards with names other than Calata’s, a set of brass knuckles, a bag of amphetamines, and a THC vape pen. Calata reportedly showed police a video he had taken, asking an officer, “Did you see how scared they were?” with a smile.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill commended the quick actions of the students who recognized the potential danger and sought help from their friends. He also praised the Granite School District Police Officer for identifying the threat Calata posed to the students on the Granger High School campus.
Calata has been charged with attempted aggravated kidnapping, unlawful possession of a financial transaction card, drug possession, trespassing on school property, and possession of a dangerous weapon. He is currently held without bail at the Salt Lake County Jail.