PORTLAND, OR — Two bystanders who thought something was wrong when
they saw a 10-year-old girl walk away with a man who had flashed what
looked like a badge are credited with thwarting the child?s kidnapping.
“Our worst gut fears were realized,” said Ken Gillam, who had
watched the incident unfold…when he and a co-worker were stopped at a
Gillam telephoned police from his van and told them he had seen a
man lead a young girl to a car. Police stopped the car a short time later.
The girl, who was not identified by police, was crying and said she
didn?t know the man. The driver, Anthony Paul Griffin, 35, of Salem, was
charged with kidnapping and impersonating a police officer.
Griffin also was carrying a hand-held scanner that was set to
Portland police frequencies. He had a silver badge inscribed “Police
Officer Metropolitan Police” and a forged Portland police sergeant?s
identification that bore the name Brian R. Clark and had Griffin?s
A police spokesman said the man had approached the girl on a
sidewalk, told her he was a policeman, showed her a badge and said they
needed to leave the area.
Reprinted by permission of Associated Press