ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man driving a black truck tried to snatch a third-grade girl as she walked to Edward Gonzales Elementary on Wednesday morning with her brother, a fourth-grader at the school, according to Albuquerque Public Schools Police Lt. Allan Rider.
The school, at 554 90th St. SW, serves third- through fifth-grade students.
Rider said the 8-year-old girl and her 9-year-old brother 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. No arrests had been made in connection with the incident.
APS sent home a letter to all parents at Edward Gonzales, 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 being aware of the surroundings is important and 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,” Rider said. “What that little boy did protected his sister.”