Police in Florida have released surveillance video showing a 10-year-old girl escaping what they believe was a second attempt to kidnap her in as many days as they search for a suspect.
Authorities said the incidents occurred last Wednesday and Thursday near the 1500 block of Northeast 17th Way in Fort Lauderdale, which is about a block away from both an elementary school and a middle school.
On Wednesday, a man approached the girl on her way to school, and “attempted to lure her by offering candy, money and other items, which she declined,” the Fort Lauderdale Police Department said.
The suspect then tried to grab the girl, police said, but she managed to run away.
The girl described the suspect as driving a black cargo-style van that has sliding doors without windows and may have had damage to the rear light.
The next morning, the man approached the girl again, on foot, while she was on her way to school, police said, adding that she “immediately ran away towards the school and away from the male.”
Surveillance video from that incident shows the girl running away as the man follows behind on foot before turning and disappearing around a corner, NBC affiliate WTVJ of Miami reported.
A passerby who noticed the incident stepped in and told the girl to run and alert police just seconds before the girl was captured sprinting down the sidewalk on video, according to WTVJ.
Broward County Public School officials told WTVJ the incident was reported to officials at Bennett Elementary School, located on the same block where the man approached the girl. Police said the girl is a student at the nearby middle school and did not report the initial incident until after the second one occurred on Thursday.
Police described the suspect as a man between 30 — 40 years old between 5’10” to 6′ tall, with receding short brown hair. He was seen wearing all-black clothes and glasses, police said.
“These incidents are of great concern to us and we need your help finding the person responsible,” police said.