Girl, 10, foils abduction attempt

Patrols increased after Northeastside child escaped attacker as she left
school bus.

By Lisa Renze-Rhodes
November 25, 2004
=================

Marion County authorities said Wednesday they have increased patrols in a
Northeastside neighborhood after the attempted abduction of a 10-year-old
girl.

The girl told police she managed to free herself from a man who grabbed
her wrist and attempted to abduct her as she exited a Lawrence Township
school bus Monday.

“There was a struggle,” said Marion County Sheriff’s Capt. Phil Burton.
“I don’t know if she kicked him or anything — but she managed to just
snatch away from him and ran to her house.”

The incident occurred around 2:45 p.m. just off 82nd Street, between
Hague and Sargent roads. Police are looking for a white man about 5 feet
9 inches to 6 feet tall with bushy brown eyebrows.

The girl said he was wearing a brown trench coat with a blue bandana
across his face and black shoes.

Additional sheriff’s patrols will be added to the area, but parents
should be on the lookout, Burton said.

“We’re asking that parents at this point be a little more watchful, not
that they aren’t already, but to just be more watchful of suspicious
activity or people in the neighborhood,” Burton said. “We’re talking
about a small child here who could have easily been overcome by an adult.”

Burton encouraged parents or neighborhood residents to call police if
they spot anything that seems out of place.

The girl attends Mary E. Castle Elementary School, said Mary Ellen Hamer,
spokeswoman for Lawrence Township Schools.

Principal Dorothea Formwalt had been attempting to reach the parents of
other children in the immediate area to make them aware of the situation,
and she addressed all children at the school Wednesday about ways to keep
themselves safe, Hamer said.

Star reporter Andy Gammill contributed to this report.
Copyright 2004 indy-star

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