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Parents alerted after luring attempt at Hamblen Elementary

By Kylee Cruz, KXLY4 Reporter, kyleec@kxly.com
Published On: Feb 26 2013 06:45:59 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 27 2013 01:50:34 AM CST
Officer Pegram / Hamblen Elem. luring incident
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A nine-year-old girl was nearly abducted Tuesday morning just steps away from Hamblen Elementary School but was able to run inside the school for safety.

The girl's father said his daughter is doing well and couldn't have handled the situation any better.

"We are very proud of her and her ability to think and react in that way, you know sometimes people will get in those situations especially a nine-year-old child and they wouldn't know what to do or they would freeze," the girl's father, who wants to remain anonymous, said.

She was dropped off about 20 minutes before school started and her dad watched her walk across the street as she was headed to school. As she was just steps away, the nine-year-old was approached by a stranger who grabbed her on the shoulder and told her that her parents didn't want her to go to school and that he was supposed to drive her home.

"The next thing I know I am getting a call after we take off from the school, saying a man approached her," the girl's father said. "Your heart rate definitely jumps," he added.

The girl was smart, quickly running inside the school office, where she gave the school staff a detailed description of what happened.

"She's pretty strong minded and you know a fast runner, she does cross country," the girl's father said.

This may be the second time the man has tried to abduct a child. Back in December there was another luring attempt near Hamblen Elementary.

"It sort of is an eye opener that something like this can happen so quick," the girl's father said.

School principal Rita Forsythe sent a letter home to parents Tuesday and is urging everyone in the community to keep a close eye on kids.

"My message to parents tonight is no matter what school your child goes to, it's a really good time to start walking your children to school, or having them walk with buddies, don't let your children walk to school or home by themselves," Forsythe said.

"Talk to your kids as much as possible and make them aware these people are out there," the girl's father said.

The district's resource officer really hit home on this during a press conference at Hamblen, saying that if you see something that doesn't appear normal, report it. You don't have to be embarrassed because your information could be vital to police.

The school district's resource officers will keep a close eye on the school after the luring attempt while the Spokane Police Department is investigating this case, using crime analysis to find the suspect responsible.

The suspect in Tuesday's luring attempt was described as being 5'11", in his early 40s, has dark hair and dark complexion, was wearing sunglasses and was seen driving a dark colored SUV.

If anyone has information about this man or the luring attempt, please call Crime Check at 456-2233.

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