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3 Howard men charged with attempt to take girl from N.Y.

Three Howard County teenagers are facing criminal charges for allegedly trying to bring a 16-year-old girl from upstate New York home with them, New York State Police said Tuesday.

The Shortsville girl got off her school bus Monday morning and into the youths' SUV, said Investigator Don Rodbourne. One of the men accused had met her online, according to police, who said all three are 18 years old.

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Rodbourne said school officials notified the girl's grandparents, who had been trying to end an online relationship the girl had developed in January with one of the teenagers. The grandparents had alerted the high school to the problem, he said.

State police responded to an amber alert and stopped the vehicle around 10 a.m. on Interstate 86 near Bath, according to police.

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According to Rodbourne, the girl and one of the 18-year-olds — Travis M. Kuhne of Elkridge — said she was going home with him so they could get to know each other and she could meet his family. The other two youths said they came along for a quick trip and didn't know the girl was underage and lacked permission to leave home, he said. They had arrived in the area Saturday, he said.

All three, Kuhne, and Elliott M. Johnson and Djakarta J. Hall, both of Columbia, were charged with child endangerment. Kuhne was also charged with possession of a switchblade, Rodbourne said. They were jailed in lieu of bail, he said. The girl was charged with possession of marijuana and returned home, he said.

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