Chicago, IL – A security camera captured the terrifying moment when a man attempted to kidnap a five-year-old girl while she was out walking with her mother in broad daylight last week (video below).
The incident occurred in the 5100-block of West Fullerton Avenue at approximately 11:58 p.m. on Sept. 8, the Chicago Police Department said in a video release later that day.
Security footage showed a woman and her child walking past a parking lot near Fullerton Avenue and Laramie when a man approached them from behind.
Police said the suspect had been following the woman and her daughter for some time before he suddenly walked up behind them and offered to pay her in exchange for the little girl, WLS reported.
The woman refused and tried to leave the area with her daughter when the suspect suddenly reached out and tried to grab the young girl by her hair, the video showed.
The woman was able to get her child away from the would-be kidnapper and they both escaped the area to safety, WLS reported.
The Chicago Police Department (CPD) said they are searching for the suspect.
He was described as being approximately 25 years old, about five feet, six inches tall, weighs an estimated 150 pounds, and has a thin beard and bright red hair, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
He was last seen wearing red shorts, a black t-shirt, and a black hat.
Marlene Estrada, who lives in the Belmont Cragin community where the attempted abduction occurred, said the situation has put her and other residents on edge, WLS reported.
“I’m afraid,” Estrada told the news outlet. “We pray for this area. We pray for this area every, every day.”
The CPD issued a community alert detailing the incident and reminding local residents not to allow their children to walk alone.
— Tom Ahern (@TomAhernCPD) September 9, 2022
Police also urged adults to help their children identify “safe havens” along their school routes where they can go if they need help or are in danger – such as trusted neighbors or businesses.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below: