Fort Lauderdale, FL – Police are searching for a man who allegedly attempted to kidnap a 10-year-old girl on two separate occasions as she was walking to school last week (video below).
The first incident occurred in the 1500-block of NE 17th Way between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Oct. 19, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department (FLPD) said in an alert issued on Monday.
During that incident, which was not initially reported to law enforcement, a male suspect in a black cargo van with sliding doors that had no windows on the sides approached the 10-year-old girl as she was walking to Bennett Elementary School, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
Investigators said the suspect attempted to coax the child into his van by offering her money and candy before he tried to grab her.
The girl was able to run away and reported the incident to staff members at her school, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
The following day, at approximately the same time and location, the suspect allegedly approached the 10-year-old girl again, police said.
This time he was on foot.
The girl immediately recognized him and took off running to her school, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
The FLPD released security footage that showed the astute little girl running down the block just before a figure rounded the corner and began walking after her.
The person stopped partway down the block and ultimately turned around and went back in the direction from which they came, the video showed.
Detectives continue to investigate last week's possible attempted child abduction and are still urging anyone with any information about either incident or the suspect to contact Detective DeQuarto at (954) 828-6559. Information can be provided anonymously. pic.twitter.com/ZeZVdVHGLe
— Fort Lauderdale Police (@ftlauderdalepd) October 24, 2022
Police said the girl told them the suspect’s vehicle appeared to be damaged on the rear end and that it had rust spots near the bottom, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
The suspect was described as a white male, approximately 35 years old, with a medium build and brown receding hair.
He stands between five feet, 10 inches tall and six feet, was wearing glasses, and possibly had a scar on the left side of his face and a gray mustache, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
A reward of $5,000 is being offered to anyone who provides information that leads to the suspect’s arrest.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below: