1. News
  2. /
  3. Crime

Safety Harbor man, 63, arrested after molesting, kidnapping 9-year-old, deputies say

Paul Gary Morgan has been charged with one count of kidnapping, one count of lewd and lascivious molestation and one count of child abuse, deputies said.
Paul Gary Morgan, 63, of Safety Harbor, was arrested after allegedly kidnapping and molesting a nine-year-old girl. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
Published Sep. 8
Updated Sep. 8

Content warning: this article contains descriptions of sexual violence.

SAFETY HARBOR — Paul Gary Morgan, a 63-year-old man from Safety Harbor, was arrested Saturday after allegedly kidnapping and molesting a nine-year-old girl.

According to a news release from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Morgan approached the victim at about 3 p.m. as she was playing in a neighbor’s yard with two other children. (Deputies did not name any of the children involved in the case.)

Morgan asked the 9-year-old to show him her panties, the release said. When the child said no, Morgan physically dragged her to the backyard of the house where the children were playing.

The 9-year-old’s playmates, a 4-year-old girl and a 6-year-old girl, followed Morgan, yelling at him to stop, deputies said.

In the backyard, Morgan molested the 9-year-old, deputies said. He picked up her skirt, tried to yank down her underwear and touched her vagina, the release said.

The 4-year-old continued to confront Morgan. Morgan grabbed and pushed her, deputies said.

In the chaos, the 9-year-old was able to escape.

The victim’s mother saw Morgan trying to flee the scene, and she tried to confront him, deputies said. Then she called 911.

Deputies responded to the area, and they found Morgan nearby. He matched the description of the man given by witnesses, deputies said.

Authorities arrested Morgan. He’s been charged with one count of kidnapping, one count of lewd and lascivious molestation and one count of child abuse, deputies said.

Morgan has an intellectual disability and he lives at the Harbor Point Assisted Living Facility in Safety Harbor, the release noted.


  1. AP file photo of then Gov. and now U.S. Sen. Rick Scott
    DeSantis, Rick Scott and other Republicans have taken a strong stance on Saudi Arabia in recent days. President Donald Trump?
  2. An undated photo of an inmate pod at the Falkenburg Road Jail in Hillsborough County. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office] Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
    Marcus Anderson, 33, collapsed Dec. 1 at the Falkenburg Road Jail. He died six days later.
  3. Paul Skalnik in a 1987 Pinellas County Sheriff's Office booking mug. He played a pivotal rule in the death row sentences of multiple inmates.
    From the archives: The Tampa Bay Times has covered Paul Skalnik, the subject of ProPublica and New York Times story, since 1987.
  4. St. Petersburg police said they arrested Jesse Millis-Dwyer after Homeland Security detected him uploading a sexually explicit photo of a 12-year-old girl to a Russian photo-sharing site. St. Pete
    Police said he uploaded photo to Russian picture-sharing site
  5. A Brinks security guard was shot during a robbery attempt at a GTE Financial credit union in Brandon Friday morning. TONY MARRERO  |  Times
    Deputies thought they had the suspect pinned down at the Bridgeport Apartments, but he fled.
  6. Police are seen outside a home at 5342 22nd Ave. N Friday in St. Petersburg. Stanley Jones, inset, is accused of stabbing two women at 22nd Avenue North and 53rd Street. One woman died from her injuries and the other was hospitalized. [URSO, CHRIS | Tampa Bay Times] CHRIS URSO | Times; St. Petersburg Police Department
    Police arrested Stanley Jones just after the stabbing Friday on 22nd Avenue N.
  7. In this Dec. 5 photo authorities investigate the scene of a shooting in Miramar, Fla. The FBI says several people, including a UPS driver, were killed after robbers stole the driver’s truck and led police on a chase that ended in gunfire at a busy South Florida intersection during rush hour. (Taimy Alvarez/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP) TAIMY ALVAREZ  |  AP
    A lawyer for the union where Rick Cutshaw worked said Cutshaw had just left his office before being killed. “He was going home.”
  8. Mandi Parsneau, 34, and her daughter Chloe Ann, 9, wait to return to their home at the Naval Air Station, Friday in Pensacola. The naval base is on lockdown after an aviation student from Saudi Arabia opened fire in a classroom building at the Naval Air Station. The attack left three dead in addition to the assailant and several injured. (AP Photo/Brendan Farrington) BRENDAN FARRINGTON  |  AP
    The assault was the second at a U.S. Navy base this week and prompted a massive law enforcement response and a lockdown at the base.
  9. These undated photo made available by the Florida Department of Corrections, show Ronnie Hill, left, and Lamar Alexander, two robbery suspects who were killed in a shootout with police, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2019, after they stole a UPS driver’s truck and led police on a chase that ended in gunfire at a busy South Florida intersection. UPS driver Frank Ordonez and another motorist who was waiting at a busy intersection were also killed. 
( Florida Department of Corrections via AP) AP
    Both men had long criminal histories and had recently been released from prison.
  10. Frank Ordonez was the UPS driver who was taken hostage by two armed robbers and later killed during a shootout with police in Miramar Thursday. Facebook
    Frank Ordonez, was a father to two young girls and had worked with UPS for five years.