Child escapes kidnapping attempt while walking to school on Ridge Road in Raleigh

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A child walking to Martin Magnet Middle School on Wednesday escaped when a man tried to grab them along Ridge Road, a letter from the school’s principal said.

Principal Marla Mondora sent the email to parents saying the student was walking to the school when an older white male in a red pickup truck approached him.

The older man got out of the truck and tried to grab the student.

“I’m relieved to report that the student escaped, ran to school for assistance and is safe with family now,” Mondora letter said.

“I’m just scared,” Dieva Hill, a parent said. She told CBS 17 she never felt unsafe having her kids walk to school.

The Raleigh Police Department and Wake County Sheriff’s Office responded.

Eric Curry with the sheriff’s office said there will be an increased presence of deputies at the school Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, which was the district’s request.

“It’s frightening. We have two granddaughters there at Martin and just the idea of somebody attempting any abduction is absolutely frightening,” Debra Perkinson, a grandparent said.

Neighbors said they too were concerned.

“It’s kinda crazy because this is a real safe neighborhood, I mean, I jog through here every day. So, I guess my thought process now is to keep an eye out for anything suspicious looking because you never want that to happen to someone’s kid,” Anthony Hernandez, a neighbor said.

The principal released the following tips for children:

  • Don’t talk to strangers.
  • Don’t take anything from strangers.
  • Don’t go anywhere with someone you don’t know.
  • If you are approached by a stranger, seek help immediately.
  • If you are alone, run away from the situation. 
  • Use the buddy system. Avoid walking anywhere alone. 
  • If parents are able, walk with your child to school or partner with a trusted adult to walk your children to school. 
  • When seeking help, always go to a trusted adult – teacher, coach, police officer, other parent, or older siblings.
  • If a stranger grabs you, do everything you can to stop them from pulling you away. Drop to the ground, kick, hit, bite, and scream. Do whatever it takes to attract the attention of others who can help you. 
  • Report any suspicious activity to your school and police department.

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