Police are searching for a man who reportedly attempted to kidnap a girl as she and two friends walked home from a church carnival over the weekend.
The incident occurred about 11:30 p.m. Saturday, when two girls and a boy, ages 14 and 15, were walking from the St. Joseph Parish carnival in the Parkland Homes area when they stopped to sit and rest on a curb, according to a news release issued by the Sunnyside Police Department.
That’s when a black Honda drove past without its headlights on, turned around, passed a second time and then stopped down the street, police said.
The driver got out of the car, grabbed one of the girls and told her she was coming with him, police said.
A struggle ensued, and when the second girl attempted to help, she was struck by the man. The man then tackled the first girl, climbed on top of her and tried covering her mouth, police said.
After regaining her senses, the second girl began yelling “rape” to alert others the area and get help. The man then fled to his car and drove away.
The man is described as possibly in his 30s, white, slender, about 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-8, with a reddish mustache, clear complexion and hazel green eyes. He was wearing dark-colored pants and a red hooded sweatshirt, the release said.
He was driving a 2000 or later model black Honda Accord, with black rims, after-market tail lights and a small spoiler, the release said.
The girl who was struck by the man was treated and released from a local hospital. Anyone with information is asked to contact Sunnyside police at 509-836-6200.
Sunnyside police urge parents to talk with their children about the importance of walking in groups, avoiding the use of headphones or cellphones while walking in order remain alert to their surroundings, and to contact police immediately if something is suspicious.
“The fact that the teens were walking together in a group helped, and the quick thinking of yelling “rape” scared off the suspect before the situation turned for the worse,” police said in the news release.