Daniel Bowling faces several charges, including obscene communication, travel to meet with a minor, and attempted lewd and lascivious molestation, police said

By Ashley Boucher
May 06, 2021 07:23 PM
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Daniel Bowling
Daniel Bowling
| Credit: Jennifer Perez/PGA TOUR

A professional golfer was arrested in Florida on Thursday after he allegedly tried to meet up with someone he thought was a teenage girl.

Daniel Bowling, described by police as "a dangerous online predator," thought he was meeting up with a 15-year-old girl that he had been chatting with since April, but it was an officer posing as a decoy, the Orlando Police Department said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

The 26-year-old faces several charges, including obscene communication, travel to meet with a minor, and attempted lewd and lascivious molestation, police said.

Bowling had first contacted the decoy on AdChat in early April, and detectives said that his conversations "turned sexual in nature within the first 24 hours and intensified quickly."

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The golfer was arrested "without incident" by detectives and Special Enforcement Division officers on Thursday "as he arrived to meet up with the decoy."

"Unfortunately, there are potentially hundreds of predators like Mr. Bowling online," said Jennifer Wing of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. "I hope news of today's arrest encourages parents to be more proactive in monitoring their children's lives online."

Bowling has played in seven PGA Tour-affiliated events since 2012, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Bowling did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment and it was not clear if the golfer had retained legal representation to comment on his behalf.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.