PHOENIX — Phoenix police are investigating after an 11-year-old girl was reportedly grabbed by a stranger in North Phoenix Saturday night.
Authorities say the girl was riding her bike near 19th and Westcott Drives when she said she saw a man with a black sweatshirt standing on the corner near a stop sign.
The girl said she heard someone run up behind her and felt someone grab and pull her arm. The 11-year-old fought back by kicking the suspect and rode her bike home and called police.
“There’s a child predator, literally right around the corner, said Charise Dickerson, who received a letter from the Deer Valley Unified School District Tuesday. The attempted abduction has rattled parents and neighbors in the area.
“It’s just not safe, I feel sorry for the kids, because when I was a kid we didn't have to worry about anything,” said Mary Walker, who lives nearby. “It’s really scary, and nerve-racking actually,” said Dickerson.
Parents are not only having to calm their own fears, but address their kids’ concerns. “They were scared that he was going to come into the house,” said Dickerson, referencing her three children. “And they are scared to play outside. They are scared that if they go to school, he might come to the school.”
“We’ve rearranged our work schedule so that we can be with them at all times,” said one father, who asked not be identified.
The school district is now watching students as they wait for parent pick-up, and kids of every age are being told to watch for strangers and never walk alone.
The attempted abduction is the second in the area in less than a month.
On April 3, an 11-year-old girl was walking to school at 22nd Avenue and Morningside Drive when a man grabbed the girl by the right arm, and pulled the other arm over her face, according to police. A witness knocked the suspect down, then pointed a handgun at the suspect, telling him to leave the area. The suspect ran off and was never caught.
Phoenix police say the suspect is described as having a "very dark" complexion and green eyes, with a stud-style nose ring in his left nostril and wearing a black hoodie.
Detectives told ABC15 they cannot connect the two incidents right now because there is not a detailed enough description of the second suspect.
They are asking you to be on the lookout though, and call Phoenix Police with any information or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish.