WHITMAN — After a failed child abduction attempt on Lazel Street Friday, Whitman Police have asked for the public’s help in identifying the male who reportedly grabbed a 9-year-old girl in her front yard.
The girl’s grandmother, who talked to the Express on Sunday, was still visibly upset as she recalled the previous day’s events. Whitman police and the Express are not identifying the family name because of safety concerns.
Just after 4:15 p.m. Friday, when her two granddaughters and their friend — all elementary age — were playing outside in the driveway of the family’s Lazel Street home a man came and put his gloved hands over one girl’s mouth.
“She came in the house and said, ‘Nanny there was a man in the driveway, he was whispering something to me and he put his hand on my mouth and he unzipped my jacket,’” the woman said. “She said the man ran away when the other girls came towards the yard.”
The child didn’t hear what the white male whispered but she told police he jumped over a fence and ran when the other girls approached —perhaps startling him, according to police who released the following information:
The suspect is a white male, 5’10”, in his late 20s to early 30s, thin build, clean shaven, with acne on his face. He was wearing black stocking hat, brown jacket, blue jeans, black shoes, and black fingerless gloves.
“My granddaughter is very articulate and she described him in detail to police,” the woman said. “She was comfortable talking with the officer (School Resource Officer Kevin Harrington) who assured her that the school and her teachers would be aware of what happened.
“She had the presence of mind not to panic,” the grandmother continued. “She told the neighbor, her grandfather and the police were here in minutes. She was calm Friday night and was still OK. We thought maybe she would have a tough night sleeping. We clarified with her that this was in fact an event and she was very clear in recalling what happened.”
Whitman police sent out several community alerts regarding the description of the suspect immediately following the occurrence. Whitman Police Department received several reports of persons matching the description of the suspect. Each report was followed up and although the descriptions were close, the suspect was not identified, said police in a press release.
“After an extensive search by the K-9 teams, the suspect was not located. Anyone with information regarding this incident should call the Whitman Police Department at 781-447-1212. Detective Pete Aitken is the lead investigator for this incident.
Deputy Chief Timothy Hanlon said the department is also analyzing surveillance video from area businesses.