Teen Fights Off Assailant, But The Suspect Is Still On The Loose

GREENLAWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – On Wednesday a Long Island neighborhood was on alert after man tried to lure a young girl walking to her school bus stop.

The 13-year-old girl screamed and punched the suspect before escaping his grasp, reports CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

The girl’s father said his daughter is terrorized and frantic for the would-be kidnapper to be caught.

Parents here are on edge and students said it is the buzz in the hallways, how an Elwood Middle School student narrowly escaped the clutches of a would be child-snatcher as she made her way to the bus stop just before 7 a.m.

CBS 2 has obtained home surveillance video, which is now in the hands of police, that clearly shows the 13-year-old frantically running from a wooded path and flagging down her school bus.

“She was startled … scared and she screamed and started to run. I think it’s horrible,” said neighbor Rodney Bordeaux, who recorded the video.

Bordeaux and other parents of schoolchildren said they are fearful because the suspect is still on the loose. He was apparently hiding in wait on a dirt path near the bus stop on Delamere Street.

“He grabbed her around the waist with both hands, and she was able to punch him from behind, which loosened his grip, and she ran to the bus stop,” Suffolk County Police Detective Lt. Michael O’Callaghan said.

“It’s scary. I don’t want to walk down there anymore. You don’t know what’s going to pop out,” neighbor Terry Williams said.

“It’s frightening that she’s a middle school student, frightening that it’s so close to my home,” Jeanette Gaffney added.

Police patrols were urgently increased. The luring suspect is described as having a tan complexion, between 20 and 30 years old, 5-foot-7 to 6-foot, wearing a black hoodie, dark pants and a tight-knit cap.

Detectives said two students spotted the suspect shortly before he grabbed the child. They and the victim are now helping a police sketch artist.

Police are crediting the 13-year-old for reacting swiftly — shouting for help, punching and running to tell adults at the bus stop exactly what had happened.

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