Police have released a surveillance tape showing a man attempting to abduct a 10-year-old girl as she walks home. The man covers the girl's mouth with his palm and lifts her off the ground, but the girl struggles, the man stumbles and flees the scene.
The NY Daily News reports Philadelphia police investigators released the surveillance video Wednesday. They posted it on YouTube and Facebook in the hope that someone will be able to identify the man.
The police have offered a reward of $10,000 for anyone with information leading to arrest and conviction of the suspect in the attempted abduction.
According to the police, the incident happened in south Philadelphia Tuesday. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the girl was going to a corner store to buy water ice with her 2-year-old brother. According to SVU Capt. John Darby, the girl said her brother's screams were "louder than anything she's ever heard before" and helped to scare the man off. The girl suffered only minor injuries.
The video shows the man creeping up behind the girl and picking her. He tries to run away with her. The girl struggles and the man drops her. He attempts to pick her up again, but he gives up and runs back to his car, jumps in and drives off.
The NY Daily News reports Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, at a press conference on Wednesday, asked the public for help in identifying the kidnapper. He said: “Our children must be able to walk around their own neighborhood without lowlifes like this individual coming up and grabbing them, touching them, or doing anything else. It’s completely unacceptable, totally outrageous; we need the public’s help.”
The Daily Mail reports the suspect was driving a late 1990s-early 2000s white mid-sized Sedan, believed to be either a Mitsubishi or a Nissan. The car has a black mark on the driver's side rear bumper and a dent on the left front fender wheel well, police say.
The Philadelphia Inquirer describes the man as 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall. He is Hispanic, medium complexion, thin build, thin mustache with short, curly black hair. He was wearing a short-sleeved black T-shirt and blue jeans.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey noted that the man never closed his car door when he got out of his car. He said: "He had every intention of bringing her back to the car."
The NY Daily News reports police say the social media has helped the Philadelphia City Police catch 87 suspects since February. Some of the suspects were accused of rape and murder. According to ABC News, the Philadelphia Police Department's Facebook page has more hits than any other law enforcement page, except the FBI.
Mayor Nutter said: "That little girl and her little brother deserve better, and as long as that person is driving around this city, walking around this city, we know that there is a predator on our streets. It's a sick individual, to do something like that."
CBS reports the girl's father, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect the identity of his daughter, said, "When I saw the video, I mean you go from wanting to cry to wanting to hurt the person doing this to your child. Never in my life have I been so enraged and mad and probably hurt and upset."
The Philadelphia Inquirer says police urge anyone with information to contact the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251, the police tip line at 215-686-TIPS (8477) or text a tip to PPD TIP (773847).