Tadashi Kojima Charged with Kidnapping Utah Child – Law & Crime

Tadashi Kojima (Layton City Police Dept.)
A 26-year-old Arizona man was arrested in Nebraska for allegedly abducting a 13-year-old boy he met through an online video game platform. Tadashi Kojima, also known as Aaron M. Zeman, was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with one count each of second-degree felony kidnapping and misdemeanor resisting arrest after authorities allegedly located him traveling with the missing child, who had been the subject of an Amber Alert, according to law enforcement documents reviewed by Law&Crime.
According to an arrest report from the City of Grand Island Police Department obtained by Law&Crime, officers at approximately 1:56 a.m. on Dec. 28 responded to a 911 call regarding a suspicious vehicle at a “Git N Split” gas station located in the 3300 block of Langenheder Street.
Upon arriving at the address, first responders said they made contact with the defendant and a juvenile male, both of whom were sitting inside of a white 1998 Toyota Avalon. Authorities quickly learned that the juvenile male had been reported as being abducted from Utah.
When officers advised [Kojima] he was going to be placed under arrest, [Kojima] tensed up and started resisting officers from placing cuffs on him,” the report states.
The Layton City, Utah, Police Department earlier in the week issued an Amber Alert trying to locate the victim. At the time, police said they believed the boy was traveling with “an adult male stranger using the name Hunter Fox.” According to the department, the victim left his home late Monday evening to meet his abductor and the two were believed to be traveling from Utah towards Arizona or Texas.
LCPD Lt. Travis Lyman reportedly provided additional details on Kojima’s capture, crediting a particularly observant employee at the Git N Split.
“An alert gas station attendant had actually thought something looked suspicious about the car and these people that were there at the gas station, called the police department and they responded,” Lt. Lyman reportedly told the station.
Police reportedly said the attendant reported that the white Toyota Avalon pulled up to one of the pumps at the station, but no one got out of the vehicle. The driver then reportedly turned the car around and went the wrong way down a one-way street before turning around again and returning to the parking lot.
According to a copy of a sworn probable cause affidavit obtained by Salt Lake City ABC affiliate KTVX, the victim’s father told the police that his son had been exchanging “sexual and inappropriate” messages with the man via the Roblox online gaming platform for approximately three weeks prior to the alleged kidnapping.
Later, the victim reportedly joined a Discord chat with Kojima at Kojima’s invitation. It was through those chats that the two allegedly arranged to have Kojima pick up the victim from his home. The age of consent in Utah is 18 years old.
Kojima is currently being detained on $100,000 bond. He is currently scheduled to appear in court for his preliminary hearing at Hall County Court at 2 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30.
The victim was reportedly uninjured and has since been reunited with his family.
[image via Layton City Police Dept.]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]
Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.
Have a tip or story idea? Email us. Or to keep it anonymous, click here.