Girl, 10, escapes horrifying abduction attempt, caught on tape

An image from a surveillance video shows a man carrying a 10-year-old girl in an abduction attempt Tuesday in South Philly as the girl's 2-year-old brother looks on. The girl struggled, her brother screamed, and the man retreated to his nearby car, police said. For the full video, go to phillyconfidential.com.
An image from a surveillance video shows a man carrying a 10-year-old girl in an abduction attempt Tuesday in South Philly as the girl's 2-year-old brother looks on. The girl struggled, her brother screamed, and the man retreated to his nearby car, police said. For the full video, go to phillyconfidential.com.
Posted: July 20, 2012

A TRIP to a corner store to buy water ice turned horrific for a 10-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother in South Philadelphia Tuesday when a man tried to abduct the girl.

City officials on Wednesday announced a $10,000 bounty for the capture and conviction of the thwarted kidnapper.

"The message here has to be very clear: Get this scum off our streets," Mayor Nutter fumed during a news conference Wednesday night at police headquarters.

Police released shocking surveillance video of the abduction attempt that shows the man pulling up in a white car on Porter Street near Lee, in South Philly's Whitman neighborhood, and watching the children turn the corner onto Lee Street before getting out of his car and following them.

Video from another camera shows the man creeping up behind the children on the block, then picking the girl up and trying to run away with her. The girl struggles and the man drops her, then attempts to pick her up again before giving up, hopping back into the car and taking off.

The attacker is described as Hispanic, in his 30s or 40s, 5 feet 9 to 6 feet tall with a medium complexion, thin build, thin mustache and short, curly black hair. He was wearing a short-sleeved black T-shirt and blue jeans and was driving a midsized white sedan, possibly a Nissan or Mitsubishi, that police said has a dent on the driver's side front quarter panel and a black scuff on the driver's side rear bumper.

Special Victims Unit investigators said that when the man grabbed the girl, he put one hand over her mouth and one hand between her legs to pick her up. SVU Capt. John Darby said the girl told police that her brother's screams were "louder than anything she's ever heard before" and helped to scare the man off. The young victim suffered only superficial physical injuries in the abduction attempt.

"It doesn't get any worse than this," Darby said.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey pointed out that the man never closed his car door when he got out to follow the kids.

"He had every intention of bringing her back to the car," Ramsey said.

He, Nutter and investigators implored the public to be vigilant and call in tips if they know the man or think they spot him.

"That little girl and her little brother deserve better, and as long as that person is driving around this city, walking around this city, we know that there is a predator on our streets," Nutter said. "It's a sick individual, to do something like that."

Tipsters are asked to contact the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251, the police tip line at 215-686-TIPS (8477) or text a tip to PPD TIP (773847).

Contact Morgan Zalot at 215-854-5928 or zalotm@phillynews.com. Follow her on Twitter @morganzalot.

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