Teen fights free of abduction attempt

Suspect sought in Auburn attack

By: Ryan Sabalow, Journal Staff Writer
Saturday, April 30, 2005

Auburn Police are searching for a man who a 17-year-old girl fought off
when he allegedly attempted to grab her and force her into his car near
the Gold Country Fairgrounds Saturday evening.

At around 6 p.m., Caitlyn Cowan of San Jose was walking to her parents’
vehicle from a memorial service she was attending at College Way and
Knoll Street to retrieve a sweatshirt, when a man in a green four-door
car approached her and began making catcalls, police and family members
said.

The girl’s father, Tyson Cowan, said when the man first approached her,
she tried to ignore his catcalls and keep walking, but he got out of the
car, grabbed one of her arms and forced it behind her back.

As he was attempting to get hold of her other arm, she got loose and
punched him in the face, Tyson Cowan said.

She ran to the safety of the Gold Country Fairgrounds, where she called
her family – who, in turn, called the police, he said.

The man was bleeding from the punch when he got into his car and fled the
scene, Tyson Cowan said.

The suspect is described as a 6-foot, 2-inch tall, dark-skinned white
male wearing a gray tank top with a buzzed haircut and a tattoo of a
swirl on his right shoulder, he said.

The suspect’s car is believed to be an Acura or Honda, said Officer Mike
Johnson of the Auburn Police Department.

“Without a license plate number and based on the information we got from
her .

Helping Police

The suspect is described as a 6’2″ dark-skinned white male, wearing a
gray tank top, with a buzzed haircut and a tattoo of a swirl on his right
shoulder. He was driving a green four-door car, probably an Acura or
Honda.

To report tips, call the Auburn Police at (530) 823-4237.
.. it’s kind of a bland description,” Johnson said. “I wish I had more.”

With the number of people in town for the Auburn Home Show, which
normally draws 30,000 visitors to the Gold Country Fairgrounds during the
weekend, the suspect likely slipped out of the area unnoticed, Johnson
said.

After being interviewed by the police, a visibly shaken Caitlyn was
escorted inside the home on College Way, where the memorial service for
32-year-old Amy Simmons was being held.

The attempted abduction combined with the sudden, unexpected death of a
family member has been difficult for Caitlyn and her family.

“It just makes you numb,” Tyson Cowan said.

Cowan and the girl’s uncle, Ed Reams, who traveled to the memorial
service from Colorado, attempted to look for the suspect after the attack
in their own vehicle.

Reams said he was infuriated by the abduction.

“There are too many high school kids and young kids running around this
area,” Reams said. “It’s downright disgusting.”

Police are asking anyone with information on the alleged assault to call
(530) 823-4237.

Johnson said area residents should be especially alert with the suspect
still possibly in the area.

“You need to be aware these people are out there, unfortunately,” he said.

Copyright 2005 Aurburn Journal

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