NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A desperate search was under way Monday, and women have been warned to take precautions, after a man tried to abduct a 16-year-old girl from a bus stop in the Bronx.
As CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang reported, the girl told her frightening story to CBS 2 on Monday.
The teen was waiting for the Bx36 MTA bus when police said a man pulled up in a white cargo van and stopped, opened the side door.
“He grabbed me by the hand and was pulling me into the van,” said the girl, who did not want her face shown on camera and whose identity is being protected.
In that moment, the girl was convinced she was seconds from being snatched.
“I see a lot of news of what happens to girls to get kidnapped, and I was scared that I would be killed,” she said.
Police on Monday continued to search for the would-be kidnapper and released a sketch of him on Sunday.
The teen said she had just missed the Bx36 bus on Saturday morning, and had been at the bust stop on Randall Avenue alone. The suspect asked her age before trying to drag her into the van, she said.
But the girl fought back.
“I told him to let me go. I screamed for help,” she said. “I was pulling backward. I got released and I ran and saw a man and asked him to help me.”
Veronica Echols said she saw the teen soon after the incident.
“She was frightened, she was speaking to the police and she was shaking,” Echols said. “Visibly shaking.”
The victim told CBS 2 she will not stop taking the bus, but from now on, she will have her mother or father walk her to and from stops. She advised other teenagers to be careful too.
“I’d tell them to be aware of who’s around them, and if someone asks a weird question, get away, and get help,” she said.
Parents in the neighborhood have given instructions of their own.
“It worries me because I might be one of those other kids and I don’t want to be snatched into a van,” 13-year-old Jayvon Downer said. “My mom told me to bite, kick and scratch until he lets go and then run.”
A sketch of the suspect is now plastered all over the neighborhood.
The suspect was described as a Hispanic male about 6 feet tall and weighing about 180 to 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, jeans and a dark blue Yankees hat.
The victim is just 100 pounds and 5 feet 3 inches tall, but still succeeded in fighting back.
“I feel lucky because not everyone gets the chance of escaping,” the victim said.
Anyone with information was asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS, visit the Crime Stoppers website, or text tips to 247637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.
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