Student who helped stop possible kidnapping speaks out

BOONE COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Thanks to a student intervening, a Kentucky teenager is safe. That student is now speaking out, sharing his reasons for stepping in to help.

Monday, a man accused of trying to kidnap a 16-year-old girl outside her high school was stopped by another student.

Cody Hardin told our sister station WCPO it happened within seconds, “He walked up and said are you guys with her. We said no. He follows her up there. I was like something doesn’t feel right.”

The junior wrestler at Conner High School followed his instinct, “I ran over there, and she’s like get him away from me.”

Hardin says he grabbed her by her shoulder, putting himself between the girl and 18-year-old Benjamin Margitza outside the high school front door.

“He tried to take a step into the door. I grabbed him by the neck and pulled him back out the door,” said Hardin.

Jody Hardin, Cody’s dad, says he couldn’t be more proud of his son, “He did the right thing. I wouldn’t expect any less of him. He’s always there to help somebody.”

Margitza was seen on school surveillance just before the confrontation. Deputies say he and the 16-year-old student met on a phone chat app four years ago. They say things escalated when he recently reached back out to her this year and then traveled from Las Vegas to Kentucky.

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