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Suspect In West Portal Kidnapping Attempt Pleads Not Guilty

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A man arrested last month in connection with an attempted kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl in San Francisco's West Portal neighborhood pleaded not guilty to all charges in court Wednesday.

Lee Mason Eigl, 27, was arrested early on March 23 in connection with an attack the previous day in West Portal.

Police said the victim was grabbed by a man and pulled into his car as she walked on Forest Side Avenue around 5 p.m. on March 22.

The girl's screams alerted passersby, who helped pull her from the vehicle.

It was the descriptions of the suspect and vehicle from the girl and the witnesses that led police to stop Eigl in his vehicle and arrest him early the next morning.

Eigl is now charged with six felony counts including assault with intent to commit a felony on a minor, kidnapping with intent to commit a felony, lewd acts on a child, second-degree robbery and criminal threats.

Defense attorney Megan Burns Wednesday said that she was just beginning her investigation into what happened and would be looking into issues including the possibility of whether Eigl might have mental health issues.

Burns said Eigl is taking the charges seriously, as is his family.

"I think he's very scared, to be frank," Burns said. "He's never been in this position before, he's never been arrested for anything in his life, and he's here on charges that are very serious and I don't think that is lost on him or his family."

Eigl remains in custody without bail and Burns said she would not challenge that.

"We recognize that this was a very scary incident for this young woman and her family so there is not going to be a request for Mr. Eigl to be released from custody at any time in the near future," Burns said.

San Francisco District Attorney's Office spokesman Alex Bastian said the charges against Eigl are very serious and justified the lack of bail.

"We feel very strongly about making sure this particular defendant remains in custody," Bastian said.

Eigl was ordered to return to court on May 9.

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.


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