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Girl asked to remove clothes for candy

September 26, 2008 5:16:59 AM PDT
Police in Irvine are searching for a man they say tried to get a 10-year-old girl to take her clothes off in exchange for candy.The suspect who approached the 10-year-old girl is believed to be, between 20 and 30-years-old.

Police say the girl was walking her bike up to her gated apartment complex in Irvine after school when he approached her.

"She kind of observed a male coming up kind of close to her and turned to see why he was getting so close," said Lt. Rick Handfield from the Irvine Police Department. "And it was at that point that she said that he offered her some candy to take off some of her clothing. And she became kind of concerned at that point, and as he kind of leaned forward and reached toward her she delivered a very well placed kick."

After the girl kicked the man in the groin he dropped down, giving her time to run away. The incident allegedly happened around 3 p.m. Tuesday near Bryan Avenue and Marketplace in Irvine, not far from Tustin Ranch Elementary School.

Parents and students are well aware of what happened.

"My son now is really scared. He is asking why there are mean people in the world. He doesn't want to come to school and he is always scared. Now he is always on the look. We were walking to school and he was looking back and forth -- right and left for any vans. He is under the concept that it is vans that kidnap children," said Stelynna VonBorstel.

Police say the suspect could be driving a green older model Jeep Wrangler with no top.

The incident gives parents an opportunity to talk with their kids about what to do if they're confronted by a stranger.

"First and foremost just run away," said Celia Otto. "Just run away as fast as you can and do what that little girl did, just scream."

The suspect is described as a male Hispanic with a shaved head, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a medium build. He had a noticeable Hispanic accent. He also had a tattoo of cursive writing on the back of his neck and a small scar on the right side of his face.

Investigators released a composite sketch Friday in the hopes that someone may be able to identify the man.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Irvine Police Department at (949) 724-7183.


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