Ying Thao, 23, has been charged in Ramsey County District Court with two counts of attempted false imprisonment. He was charged Tuesday, but authorities made the charges public Wednesday.
Two Good Samaritans chased Thao 3 miles until police arrested him Monday.
Thao followed the girl in his car as she walked down Case Avenue near Payne Avenue in St. Paul about 12:25 a.m. Monday, said St. Paul police spokesman Andy Skoogman.
According to the charges: The girl said she had never seen Thao before. He whistled at her and said, "You look good." He asked her to come with him, and when she kept walking, he parked his car and walked to her.
Thao grabbed the girl around the waist. She screamed, pushed him away and ran to a nearby house for help.
Several witnesses yelled at Thao, who fled in a car. Two men followed him in a car, relaying their whereabouts to authorities by phone until police were able to arrest Thao at Larpenteur Avenue and Adolphus Street.
Witnesses told authorities that Thao's car lights were off when he followed the girl, and that he grabbed at her with a "violent yank."
Thao told authorities he spoke to a young Hmong girl on the street and was asking about her sense of safety because of all the black people around, according to the charges. He first denied getting out of his car, then admitted he did, but that he stayed by the vehicle. He eventually said he put his arms around the girl and tried to walk her to his car.
Thao told police he was trying to protect the girl because it was late, according to the complaint.
The attempted kidnapping does not appear linked to any other incidents, Skoogman said.
Ying Thao, 23