WO youngsters lauded for their response to attempted abduction

By DAVID WHIPKEY, Daily News Staff Writer
April 19, 2005

The potential victims of a reported child abduction attempt have been
lauded as heroes by White Oak’s mayor and councilors.

During Monday’s monthly meeting, Councilman Wayne Washowich Jr. and Mayor
Ina Jean Marton said the three girls and one boy who escaped a possible
abduction last week at Heritage Hill Park handled the situation perfectly.

“Those kids deserve kudos for what they did,” Washowich said. “They knew
exactly what to do.”

Ricky Anthony Blake, 44, of St. Petersburg, Fla., faces multiple criminal
counts in connection with the April 11 alleged abduction attempt.

The children ran home and called 911. Police arrived on the scene and
arrested Blake, who is originally from White Oak, shortly after the
incident.

Police Chief Joseph Hoffman said Blake tried to lure the children into
his truck by claiming he had autographed Ashlee Simpson memorabilia. He
also reportedly had a mattress and twine-like rope inside the vehicle,
along with pornographic magazines.

Marton said the children’s detailed description of the suspect allowed
police to make a timely arrest.

“The kids did a wonderful job,” the mayor said. “Their decisiveness
probably saved their own lives.”

Blake’s preliminary hearing was Monday before White Oak Magisterial
District Judge Thomas Miller. He was held for court on a charge of
criminal intent. An additional charge of luring a child into a motor
vehicle was dismissed because none of the potential victims ever entered
Blake’s vehicle.

He remains incarcerated at Allegheny County Jail pending the results of a
psychological evaluation. Miller reduced Blake’s bond from $15,000
straight cash to $1,500.

No trial has been set.

Council reminded residents that a seminar on how to deal with child
predators will take place tonight at the borough building.

Allegheny County’s Crimes Against Children Task Force Officer Tom
Clinton is the scheduled speaker for the event, which begins at 7 p.m.

A similar seminar for children is slated for Sunday at 2 p.m. at the
borough building, Councilman Charles Davis said.

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