KENT — Police say a 10-year-old girl was walking home from school when a man pulled up in his car and tried to grab her.
She was able to get away safely. But now detectives are asking for help in identifying and catching the suspect.
“I just talked to her a few minutes ago, asked her if she was OK and everything,” 14-year-old Alyzza Sein said Thursday.
She became concerned when she heard a strange man approached her neighbor on her way home along 126th Ave SE from the bus stop Wednesday afternoon. Police say the man tried to grab her, but some other kids nearby scared him off.
“As she was screaming for help, her brothers ran back with rocks.”
The incident is bringing back scary memories for Alyzza. She says something similar happened to her just a couple months ago.
“I was walking to school, to the bus stop. I was on the way, and there were two men in a tan car.”
She says she got a funny feeling, so she ran away from the men and told her mom. Now she and her brother are careful walking to and from the bus.
“My mom said we have to walk together, to make sure that nothing happens. And when my brother comes home from school, we also have to pick him up.”
Jonah Diga didn’t know about the more recent case, until she saw the warnings posted by the homeowners association. She says she’s already cautious with her kids, because they just moved to the area.
“I don't let them go outside, because I don't know the neighborhood yet.”
Now that she’s heard about this, she’s going to have another conversation with them about looking out for strangers.
“They think a stranger is someone scary-looking. But if it's a nice man with a puppy, they think this is a nice guy, a good guy. But it can really be anybody.”
Alyzza is also going to be keeping her eyes open.
“It’s just terrifying because you don't the person, you don't know what they could be doing.”
The suspect from Wednesday's incident appeared to be a Hispanic male or a black male with a light complexion, police said. He was described as being short and heavy, in his mid to late 20s, wearing a white baseball cap with a black bill, dark gray sweatpants, and a red zip-up sweatshirt.
The vehicle was described as a red 1980s to '90s vehicle with flip-up headlights and tinted windows. It was noted as being in poor condition with scratches and dents on the exterior.
Investigators are asking for witnesses or people with any information that might assist in this investigation to contact the Kent Police Department tipline at (253) 856-5808.