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Registered sex offender charged with trying to kidnap woman at MTA station

March 21, 2011 |  3:05 pm

This post has been corrected. Please see note at the bottom for correction.

A registered sex offender was charged Monday with attempting to kidnap a 25-year-old woman last week at an MTA station in South Los Angeles, an alleged attack that was thwarted by as many as 10 commuters.

James Alfred Burnett, 46, was charged with kidnapping, making criminal threats and false imprisonment. If convicted on all counts, Burnett, who is facing a potential third strike, faces up to 25 years to life in state prison.

The charges stem from an incident Thursday afternoon in which Los Angeles County sheriff's transit deputies responded to a disturbance at the Avalon station in the 11600 block of Avalon Boulevard in Green Meadows.

When they arrived, witnesses told deputies that commuters at the station had wrestled a man to the ground after he grabbed an unidentified woman from behind and tried to drag her away.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said that as many as 10 commuters wrestled Burnett to the ground before he broke free and jumped onto an arriving train. A short time later, he arrived at the Imperial station, where deputies were waiting for him.

The woman also fled the scene, but she contacted investigators hours later after seeing the story on the late local news, Whitmore said.

For the record, 6:03 p.m. March 21: A previous version of this post and headline referred to the  victim as a teenage girl. It was a 25-year-old woman, Whitmore said.

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