UPDATE: Attempted kidnapping of a teenager in Vail
Neighbors and nearby schools are on high alert -- keeping a close eye on kids in case the accused kidnapper returns.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Pima County deputies are looking for a man who they say tried to kidnap a teen in Vail. And she fought back.
It happened Sunday afternoon on Cienega Creek Drive in a neighborhood near Old Vail Middle School.
"It's kind of shocking because it's a real good neighborhood. It's quiet and peaceful," said one neighbor, John Vasley.
So taking a quick trip down the street might seem safe enough -- even for kids. The teen was walking from one friends house to another. She was about halfway there when a white SUV pulled up beside her. Deputies say a man jumped out, grabbed the teen and tried to pull her inside. She put up a fight and ran, which is exactly what she should have done.
She ended up at her friend's house. "The mother of the friend comes to the house and then brings her back to her parents home," said Pima County Sheriff's deputy Tom Peine.
Then the family called 9-1-1 - more than 30 minutes later -- a call that, deputies said, could have been made sooner. Peine said, "Time is of the essence. It's paramount in all these investigations." To catch criminals -- before they flee the general area. "In the time period say -- 20 minutes -- 30 minutes -- 40 minutes -- now the individual that may drive away, you do the math," said Peine.
Now neighbors, as well as nearby Vail Schools told KGUN9 that they're on high alert. The Vail District said the staff is aware of the issue and it's added more people in drop off and pick up areas.
John Vasley said, "I hope most of the neighbors are going to keep their eyes open. I'm keeping my eyes open for anything out of the ordinary."
Al Dyer, another neighbor, said, "It's important I would think that as a community everyone would keep an eye out for each other. Oh I think when people know it was happening in our neighborhood that they're going to be more vigilant," Now, neighbors say, and in the future.
Sheriff's detective Gerard Moretz, in the Crimes Against Children Unit, is now on the case. He said deputies are already checking registered sex offenders within a 5 mile radius. Deputies told KGUN9 that the attack appears random -- making it more challenging when they have to track down these types of criminals.
This is who the deputies are looking for -- A Caucasian male, in his early twenties, with short dark brown hair, clean shaven, wearing a red shirt and jeans. He may also be wearing a dark colored ring. They say he could be driving a older model white SUV with tinted windows. If you see this man -- or know who he is -- call 911 or 88-CRIME.