CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

SafeUT app helps save 14-year-old from kidnapper

Jan 23, 2023, 12:21 PM | Updated: 12:22 pm
SafeUT app...
The SafeUT app is a crisis chat and tip line that provides real-time crisis assistance for students, parents, and educators. (SafeUT)
(SafeUT)

SALT LAKE CITY — SafeUT, the app that was designed for Utahns to instantly receive help in crisis, is proving successful after an incident over the weekend. 

A fourteen-year-old girl was allegedly followed home by 26-year-old Jonathan Simonji on Saturday, Jan. 21. 

According to police, Simonji attempted to lure the girl into his car with food and alcohol near 700 South 300 East. After she declined, Simonji allegedly forced her into his car and drove her to a rental home. 

While in the home, the girl could not reach any family or friends. Simonji, a stranger to her, continued to tempt her with alcohol, police say. 

After downloading the SafeUT app, the girl communicated with a staff member, and officers then responded and came to her aid.

Safely removing the girl from the home where Simonji refused to let her leave. He also allegedly refused to leave the house. 

Consequently, officers booked Simonji into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail after two alleged hours of communication in the house. Police arrested him on one count of suspicion of second-degree felony Kidnapping.

Not only are officers encouraging community members to utilize the SafeUT app but also to avoid walking alone, and tell someone you trust when you are leaving and when you will be back. 

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SafeUT app helps save 14-year-old from kidnapper