24-year-old Jose Ferreira, of the 200 block of West Albanus Street in Philadelphia, is charged with Attempted Kidnapping, Unlawful Restraint, False Imprisonment, Simple Assault, and related offenses.
Ferreira was taken in for questioning Thursday night after an incident in the 3700 block of North 5th Street.
Investigators say a 9-year-old girl had been shopping at a corner store there.
She was walking across the street away from the store when a man approached her. Police say he grabbed her arm.
Witnesses say she ran back into the store, crying hysterically.
"She came in and started screaming she got raped," said Giomar Fermin.
Investigators, who determined the girl was not sexually assaulted, investigated the case as an attempted abduction.
One witness, who doesn't want to be identified, was in the store when the girl returned. He says people on the block immediately sprang into action.
"They were chasing him down. They were hitting him. They held him down and called police," he said.
Police arrived. Both the girl and the suspect, now identified as Ferreira, were taken to the Special Victims unit to be interviewed.
After speaking with witnesses and looking at surveillance video from the store, police charged Ferreira early Friday morning.
The girl, who lives on the block, was not injured, but clearly frightened.
"I think it's amazing how the whole community helped out the little girl who was scared and didn't know what was going on," said a neighborhood resident.