NEWTON, Iowa – A teenage girl has told Channel 13 the California man who pretended to be a Hollywood movie star also tried to lure her from her home. She said she reported it to police but they did little about it.
David Lavera was arrested Tuesday after police say he posed as a star of the popular Twilight movie series to lure a 14-year-old girl into his car in Baxter.
The girl’s family says Lavera said he was Kiowa Gordon, one of the stars of Twilight. In reality, Lavera has done some bit parts in low budget movies and worked as a stuntman.
Raven Adams, 14, was so convinced that Lavera was a Hollywood superstar, she didn’t think twice about taking a walk with him in the woods of a Newton park.
“We went on a walk in the bike trail and everything and then we hung out for a while and then he was going to leave and that’s when he asked if I would sneak out,” Raven said.
He wanted her to sneak out after her parents were asleep, Raven said, “because he wanted to try and kiss me.”
Lavera was introduced at her school as the star of the movie Twilight and was even invited to perform in front of students last week. He was also invited to join in with eighth graders for their school sponsored pool party.
“He went to the pool party and I think that was a little weird because there was a bunch of girls in swimming suits,” Raven said.
Raven’s mother says after she found out Lavera tried to get her daughter to sneak out of the house, she called police.
“That was not ok with me,” mother Tammy Adams said. “I was very emotional on the situation. I cried. She still was in defense of him because she still believed him. I mean it’s hard to say what he put in these kids heads.”
But she says, Newton police just warned Lavera to stay away from children.
“I will admit that our officers did have contact with him. We don’t have any information that anything illegal was done. Again, we’re taking statements and we’re just making sure that everything was done correctly,” Newton police Chief Jeff Hoebelheinrich said.
Tammy Adams believes the school and Newton police put kids at risk because they didn’t take the time to check Lavera out.
“I think that if they would have pursued this when the first call came through none of this would be happening right now,” Adams said.
The teen that Lavera is accused of abducting Tuesday got away after a friend of the victim’s mother stopped Lavera’s car and helped the teen out.
Lavera sped off, but was caught by police minutes later. He faces weapons charges because police say they found two swords and several daggers in his car. He is also charged with enticement.