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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas police are warning the public about a suspect who attempted to abduct a high school honor student as she was walking to class Tuesday.
The 17-year-old girl was on her way to Roosevelt High School when a man ran up to her, put her in a bear hug, and tried to drag her into a nearby treed area. During an afternoon press conference Dallas Police Department Major Rob Sherwin said, “He came up behind this victim and attempted to assault her by grabbing her.”
Video cameras at a nearby Salvation Army Community Center, in the 1000 block of Hutchins Road, captured grainy images of the attempted abduction.
“He had me like this — my arms — I just started screaming-hollering for help,” said the teen.
She fought her attack back and another person in the area also distracted the man. Major Sherwin explained, “We have just had a witness come up to us. A young man was coming the opposite direction and observed the assault take place, yelled at he guy to ‘get away’ and he [suspect] ran back to the car. So he [witness] may have helped us a lot.”
The teenager was shaken, but otherwise unharmed and has returned to school. Police say her reaction to the attempted assault was exactly what it should have been. “She dropped immediately to the ground. He [suspect] tried to drag her for just a brief moment and he ran when the witness screamed.
“Once you get in the car, it’s like, a chance that you cannot be found… and I was like… I can’t get in this car,” said the young woman.
Samantha Grinning lives in the area. She asked, “Is this what our world is coming to? Everybody should be able to walk in freedom and not be in fear of what’s going to happen.”
The description of the suspect is very is ambiguous, but he was driving a dark-colored sedan, possibly similar to a Honda civic. Officials say they have ‘saturated’ the area with patrol officers saturated trying to get more information about the attacker.
The Salvation Army is a Safe Place for neighborhood kids after school. There, Lieutenant Cavon Phillips spoke highly of the young person who intervened and tried to help the victim. “I’d just like to applaud the young man that saw something wrong going on. He stepped up to help out the young lady.”
Dallas police say they are also working with the Dallas Independent School District Police Department to get the information about the attempted assault out to students and their parents.
Watch video of the Dallas Police press conference.
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