UPDATE: Brooklyn man in custody, charged with kidnapping Brighton teen

Man in custody, charged with Brighton girl’s kidnapping

Man in custody, charged with Brighton girl's kidnapping

BRIGHTON, N.Y. — A man in the Monroe County Jail, held by U.S. Immigration, is accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old girl from Brighton.

The suspect is accused of driving to Brighton, picking up the 14-year-old girl, and driving her back to the Bronx.

“Yesterday, on March 27th at about 11:20 a.m., Serdar Ozman, 40 years of age, who resides at 5407 Kings Highway in Brooklyn, New York was taken into custody,” Brighton Police Chief David Catholdi said in a press conference Thursday. “He has been charged with one count of kidnapping in the first degree, which is a class A1 felony.”

The 14-year-old was reported missing at 3:54 a.m. on Monday, March 25, and her neighborhood was searched. When police started digging into her phone, they found messages and texts from another phone.

Within 18 hours, New York State Police traced that phone to the apartment in the Bronx and rescued the girl.

Police say the suspect and girl had only been texting each other for one, maybe two weeks. The grooming can happen fast.

Sara Van Strydonck, head of the Special Victims Unit at the District Attorney’s Office, said, “Have that conversation with your kid tonight. Go into their phone, go into their computer — this doesn’t just happen to the people in the town over or the city over, it happens everywhere. And nobody wants to be standing up here again.”

Ozman was arraigned Thursday morning by Brighton Town Court, remanded and held at MCSO without bail. An order of protection has been issued. He will reappear in court April 2.

The victim’s family asks for privacy.