Whittier park attempted-kidnap suspect sought


The incident happened at Parnell Park, located at 10711 Scott Avenue, around 7:25 p.m.

According to police, the 12-year-old boy was on a swing set when a man grabbed the boy from behind and attempted to place him in a headlock-type hold.

"An unknown male suspect came up from behind the 12-year-old, grabbed him, and placed him in some sort of chokehold, put his hand over his mouth, and told him not to say anything as he was trying to pull him off the swing set," Whittier Community Relations Officer Brad White said.

Luckily, the 12-year-old boy was able to make some noise. Police say that's when his 13 and 14-year-old brothers who were playing basketball a few feet away ran over to help.

"They began punching, kicking and screaming at the male suspect," White said. "The male subject let go of their younger brother and he ran off in a westbound direction through the park and into a residential area."

The three boys reportedly ran in the opposite direction and are said to be all OK.

A search was conducted by police following the attempted kidnapping to no avail.

Many people visiting the park Wednesday were shocked to hear of the brazen crime that had occurred hours before especially since the brothers were standing feet apart.

"I would've done the same thing if that was my son or brother," Xavier Castillo of Whittier said.

The city's residents are on edge following the kidnapping attempt. On Feb. 21 two girls, 11 and 7, were kidnapped near Founders Memorial Park, located six miles away.

The victims were both separately thrown in the suspect's car but managed to escape. According to police, however, there is no indication Tuesday's incident is connected to the Feb. kidnapping attempts.

"It appears this is an isolated incident," White said.

According to police, the suspect sought in Tuesday's attempted kidnapping has a scar on his right cheek and the suspect sought in the Feb. attempted kidnappings does not.

The suspect was described as a Hispanic male between 30 and 40 years old with a stocky build. He was last seen wearing dark clothing and appeared unshaven.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with any information regarding the attempted kidnapping was urged to contact Whittier Police at (562) 567-9270.

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