According to Albuquerque Public Schools police Lt. Allan Rider a man driving a black truck tried to snatch a third-grade girl as she walked to Edward Gonzales Elementary this morning with her brother, a fourth-grader at the school.
The school serves third- through fifth-grade students and is located at 554 90th Street SW. Rider said the girl, 8, and her brother, 9, were crossing the intersection near Tower and 86th when a tall, thin man wearing black pants and a black shirt pulled up and grabbed the girl. The incident happened between 7:10 and 7:45 a.m. he said.
“Her brother ran up and began punching the man in the stomach and then he threw a rock at him,” Rider said. “During the struggle, the girl was able to get away.”
The children ran to a nearby crossing guard and the man drove away.
APS sent home a letter to all parents at Edward Gonzales Elementary, the adjacent Helen Cordero Primary that serves grades kindergarten through second and Truman Middle School. The letter describes the incident and warns students not to talk with or approach strangers for any reason even if they are asking for help. Rider said running away and screaming is a good plan.
He said the actions of the older brother saved the girl from abduction. The man’s description has been turned over to the Albuquerque Police Department and the school will have extra patrols.
“We recommend that other children pay attention to what these children did,” he said. “What that little boy did, protected his sister.”