Locals stop attempted abduction

Updated: 8/15/2005 12:57 PM
By: News 10 Now Web Staff

Syracuse police were calling two people heroes this weekend after they
both risked their safety to stop an attempted abduction.

They say, 49-year old James Gilkeson followed a 10 year old girl into the
Big Apple Market on Castle and South Salina Street around 10 am Saturday.

Witnesses say after talking to the girl inside the store, Gilkeson then
followed her in his car as she walked down South Salina street.

Police say Gilkeson opened his car door and asked the girl if she needed
a ride, when she said no, he grew more insistent, until she finally got
in.

Monique Williams was driving down the road and saw what happened, she
pulled along side the car and with the help of a nearby D-P-W worker,
they blocked him in until police arrived. Williams says she knew right
away something wasn’t right.

“Her expression and when I asked him if he knew her. Just seeing the car
door swing open and him raising back up so it was obviously apparent he
opened the door that in itself just caught me,” Williams said.

Police Chief Gary Miguel praised Williams for her efforts saying, “It’s
about citizens taking their community back and that’s what takes place
here. When you have individuals like Monique Williams and Mr. Searight
who are aware of what is taking place in their community, who are not
afraid to get involved you have what could very well have been a tragedy
get averted because of those actions.”

James Gilkeson is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Police say the investigation is ongoing, and they are looking into
whether or not he is connected to other similar cases across the state.
He will be arraigned Monday morning.

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