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North Hollywood school sees increased security after attempted kidnap

A 10-year-old girl bit a man who grabbed her at Coldwater Canyon Elementary School in North Hollywood Wednesday, January 22, 2014.

January 23, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
There was increased security at Coldwater Canyon Elementary School in North Hollywood after a man tried to kidnap a young girl from the school. She managed to get away, but that man remains on the loose.

School police officers greeted students before the bell rang Thursday morning, and parents escorted their children to the main entrance to make sure they arrived safely.

Police say a man tried to abduct a 10-year-old girl during an after-school program just before 6 p.m. Wednesday. The girl told police she bent down to tie her shoe and a man grabbed her from behind. When he put his hand over her mouth, she bit him and was able to run away. The girl immediately told a staff member. The suspect, a man with curly salt-and-pepper colored hair, fled school grounds.

Cristina Medrano's 8-year-old daughter attends the same after-school program.

"Luckily, I took my daughter out at 5," said Medrano. "She was scared. She didn't want to go to school right now, but I told her just don't talk to strangers."

Many parents reassured their children it is safe to come to school. LAUSD police planned to add patrols around the campus, and neighboring schools have been notified.

The school is reminding parents to talk to their children about walking in groups whenever possible and not taking a ride from someone they don't know.