WANTED: Man who tried to kidnap 10-year-old girl in rural Clackamas County
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office is asking the public for help identifying a man who tried to kidnap a 10-year-old girl from the Welches area in rural Clackamas County Friday afternoon.
Family tell KATU the girl was visiting her grandparents at the time who live near East Welches Road and Fairway Avenue.
"She was here with my wife, they just got back from town. She was out riding her bicycle here," said the girl's grandfather who KATU News is only identifying as Shawn, pointing to his driveway.
Deputies responded to the attempted kidnapping at about 4:30 p.m. Shawn says the suspect stopped on the side of East Welches Road and crawled through some bushes to the edge of his driveway. Shawn said the man first spoke to his granddaughter in Spanish, then told her to come talk to him.
"She drops her bike and starts running towards the house to get to her grandmother, he runs off the bank and grabs her from behind and tries to abduct her," said Shawn.
The girl elbowed the man in the chest, Shawn said, and punched him till he let her go. The girl ran inside, and deputies say the suspect got back into his car and drove south. Deputies did an extensive search of the area, but did not find him.
"She is tough. Very intelligent. Very smart girl who knew what to do at that particular time, because this could have had a horrible outcome," said Shawn.
Family says the girl is okay psychically, but she had nightmares and trouble sleeping after the incident.
The suspect vehicle is described as an older dark-colored SUV or pickup with a matching canopy that had an abundance of stickers all over the rear window, including a large white "REVENGE" decal.
The suspect is described as a young Hispanic or Native American man about 6 feet tall with a slender build and very dark hair with a long braided ponytail. He was last seen wearing a long-sleeved shirt and a beanie-type cap.
Family and neighbors did not recognize the man in the sketch.
Shawn says they will not let their three grandkids play in the front yard along anymore. He hopes this could be a learning lesson to other parents now and he hopes deputies can catch the suspect.
"Just don't let your kids out of your sight, it happened right here in our driveway," said Shawn.
Anyone with information should call the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office at 503-655-8211 or at their tip line: 503-723-4949.