'Beyond words scary': Mom says strangers tried to lure, grab 17-year-old daughter
"It's just beyond words scary," the girl's mother, Reann Tomlinson, told KATU. “She’s a nervous wreck today. She’s at home. She doesn’t want to go to school."
Deputies, meanwhile, said the incident is similar to two others recently reported in Tigard.
Tomlinson said her 17-year-old daughter was walking home alone at about 1 a.m. when the attack happened.
"She's almost an adult," Tomlinson said. "She's hanging out with her friends and honestly, she just thought it was a few blocks and her friends left her so just wanted to get home."
Tomlinson said around the Albertsons grocery store at Southwest Farmington Road and 185th Avenue a white van approached her daughter with two men inside.
"Asking her if she wanted a cigarette, if she wanted to smoke a bowl of weed. I mean she doesn't do any of that. They wanted to know if she wanted to hang out and party with them, hang out in the van, just anything to get her in the van," said Tomlinson. "She just kept saying she was OK and they followed her all the way out the parking lot of Albertsons and when she crossed they kind of came around, followed her up 185th and in that dark spot before our apartments the passenger jumped out of his seat, opened the side van door and tried to grab her and so she freaked out, screamed, ran, came home, screamed, tried to calm her down, called the police."
Tomlinson said her daughter told her the van drove off.
"It's a white van. There's not really any markings on it. It had a side door that slides open. There was a little bit of paint, about a couple inches on the bumper area," she explained. "The passenger was a white male, blonde hair, blue eyes."
Tomlinson said her daughter didn't get a good look at the driver or the license plate.
Deputies said the incident is similar two others reported near elementary schools in Tigard last month but don't know if they're connected.
"I'm just glad that I taught her to be aware of her surroundings," said Tomlinson. "The whole situation's scary and I just hope they don't actually get anybody."
Police said the incidents on Jan. 3 and Jan. 11 in Tigard involved a man in a work-type white van, pulling alongside a child and asking if they needed a ride.
Detective Robert Rookhuyzen of the Washington County Sheriff's Office said in general attacks by strangers are rare.
"Most often, kids are abused by people they know," he told KATU via email.
Deputies reminded the public, particularly children, to take the following safety precautions when walking:
* Walk in groups;
* Carry a cell phone to be able to call for help;
* Wear bright or reflective clothing;
* Maintain a safe distance from cars;
* Do not approach strangers in vehicles;
* Report suspicious activity immediately to 911;
If the public has any information on this incident, including relevant surveillance video, they are asked to call non-emergency dispatch at 503-629-0111.