A man who spent nearly half of his 53-year life in jail is once again locked up, facing charges that he kidnapped and assaulted a 20-year-old waitress in Abington, Pa.

mcneill reginald11 Suspect in Abington Abduction Offers ApologyKYW’s Ian Bush reports that it’s an attack the suspect is now admitting to:

“I apologize for that. I didn’t mean to do that.”

Reginald McNeill, 53, says he didn’t intend to hurt the 20-year-old waitress, whom authorities say McNeill shot with pepper spray and threatened with a knife as she left her job at the Kitchen Bar on Old York Road.

Police say the McNeill forced the woman into her car and drove off, but even with a handcuff on, she was able to break free.

Abington police chief Bill Kelly says there’s little doubt that if she hadn’t fought back, McNeill would have raped and murdered her:

“We want to make sure that this individual is put away for as long a period of time as possible, because he truly is a hazard to our community.”

Now being held on a million dollars bail, McNeill seems resigned to a familiar fate:

“I’m going to get punished for it.”

KYW’s Brad Segall reports that Montgomery County district attorney Risa Ferman is looking for answers after McNeill, who served more than two decades in jail for violent offenses, was allowed back on the streets after being arrested in Philadelphia last month for burglarizing the Union League.

The burglary charge was dropped and McNeill was released on unsecured bail on a criminal trespass offense. That has Ferman angry:

“When I look at someone with such a significant history of violent offenses, who has maxed out in prison, spent 23 or more years in prison and then they commit another felony offense — seems logical to me that that is someone who is going to be detained.”

Now that she has McNeill in custody in her county, Ferman hopes to keep him locked up for the rest of his life.

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