Hunt is on for attempted kidnapper

Posted on February 10, 2012 by Sonoma Valley Sun

The suspect in an attempted kidnapping of an El Verano Elementary School student, the third inappropriate contact with a young girl in as many months, remains at large.

The Sheriff’s Department has released a sketch of the wanted man, part of an investigation that is active and going, said Lt. Dennis O’Leary. “We’re looking for help from the public.”

Parents of all Valley elementary school students have been alerted and the children spoken to by authorities, O’Leary said, and security on each campus has been increased.

On Jan. 30, the suspect approached a child on the El Verano School campus and attempted to lure her away by asking if she needed a ride home. When the child refused, the suspect grabbed her by the arm, according to the Sheriff’s report, but she was able to escape and run away.

Detectives believe that the suspect is also responsible for two similar incidents, one in November, also at El Verano Elementary, and another at Sassarini, in December. In each of those cases the suspect only asked the girls if they wanted a ride home.

In the most recent confrontation, “It escalated,” O’Leary said. “He actually grabbed the child and said ‘I’m taking you home.’” The physical contact merits a charge of attempting kidnapping, O’Leary said.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male adult, 30 years old, between five-foot-eight and six-feet tall, with a thin-to-average build. He has a medium-to-dark complexion, and may have a light mustache. He spoke English with a heavy accent and fluent Spanish.

The man was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt over his head, jeans and athletic shoes. He also wore a neck chain with a dollar sign pendant and a diamond stud earring.

The suspect was reportedly driving a red compact passenger car, similar to a Ford Focus.
Any person with information about this incident or suspect is encouraged to call the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Bureau at 565-2185, the Valley sub-station at 996-9495, or the Sonoma Police Department at 996-3602.

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