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West Allis 5th grader fights off her would-be kidnapper

abduction pic.JPG
Posted at 9:07 PM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-14 23:18:08-05

A girl fought off an attempted kidnapping near a West Allis school Thursday morning. West Allis Police said it happened as the girl was walking to Horace Mann Elementary School.

According to officers, a man tried to grab the little girl and pull her into his SUV. Parents learned what happened while they were bringing their kids home from school near 63rd and Mitchell.

"It's ridiculous. Scary," said Christy Johnson who lives nearby.

Johnson's daughter is the same grade as the girl who was almost taken. Police said the 5th grade girl was walking to Horace Mann Elementary around 8 a.m.

A man in a silver or white SUV asked the girl for directions. She ignored him. Then, he got out of the car and grabbed her wrist. She hit him with her bag of candy. That's when he let her go and she ran to school.

"I couldn't imagine," said Johnson.

People who live nearby say it is usually a safe area.

"There isn't nothing going on. Kids just running around playing in the morning that's about it," said Jason Breitzman as he was out walking his dog.

Most neighbors said kids often walk themselves to school in the area. But parents say that won't be happening anymore.

"I'm making sure he is watched and pick him up," said Jason Pawlowski, who was walking home his 8-year-old son.

"Her brother walks with her or I walk with her. I am too scared with that stuff," said Johnson.

Police describe the suspect as a man, 30 to 40 years-old, about 5'2" - 5'5" tall, wearing a black beanie winter hat, jacket to mid-thighs, and gray tennis shoes with black trim. The suspect had a "sluggish" walk or a limp.

Police also said he was driving a SUV, possibly shaped like a Ford Explorer, with 4 doors and tinted windows. The SUV was described as dirty and either silver or white. The wheels on the SUV were bigger than normal.

Anyone with information can call West Allis Police at (414) 302-8090.