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Suspect attempts to abduct Highland Park girl

September 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A predator may be on the loose near Highland Park. Police say a man tried to kidnap a young girl as she walked to school Monday morning in Highland Park. A composite sketch of the suspect was released Wednesday in Glassell Park.Detectives at the LAPD Southeast Division Station say the 12-year-old victim gave them a description of the man who tried to kidnap her.

Detectives say the attempted kidnapping happened in an alley next to the Metro Gold Line, between Avenue 60 and Avenue 61.

Investigators say the suspect, described as an African-American man, about 20 to 30 years of age, weighing about 185 pounds, with stud earrings in both ears, got out of a dark blue van with tinted windows and pretended to be working on it.

Police say when the girl passed him, the suspect tried to grab her and put her into his vehicle. She screamed and managed to get away. Now the search is on for the suspect.

"Obviously, I think he was probably following this girl," said LAPD Capt. Bill Murphy. "He did pick her up before that alleyway. She had indicated to us that she had spotted the van before she went down that alley, so maybe he was following her. She grabbed that fence with both hands and started screaming as loud as she could. He had apparently grabbed her around the waist and was trying to pull her off. He wasn't able to do that. I think he panicked, most likely, and then just fled in the vehicle."

Police say that 12-year-old did the right thing by screaming, grabbing that fence and not letting go and struggling with the suspect. They say the victim struggled with the suspect for a good 30 seconds. He panicked and took off. They want children, if they find themselves in an unfortunate similar situation, to do the same thing. That child, they say, learned to do that from her parents.

If you have information related to this case, you're asked to call (877) LAPD 24-7 (877-527-3247).


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