• Girl says she fought off attempted kidnapper

    By: Carl Willis

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Parents in Candler Park say they are on high alert after a sixth-grader reported having to fight to escape being kidnapped.

    The alleged incident happened Tuesday afternoon. Residents say the girl was walking home from her bus stop on Candler Park Drive when a man tried to snatch her.
     
    "Gosh, it's freaky," said Mara Davis. "You would think the school bus stop should be totally safe."
     
    The location is on a quiet corner of the neighborhood, just a short walk from where a youth soccer league held practice Thursday night.
     
    "I think it's a little bit of anxiety, definitely everyone is sort of looking out, looking more carefully at the cars that are parked on the street," said Logan Ritchie.
     
    "It is very concerning to think that that could happen in a neighborhood that we consider (a) safe haven," said Todd Rivera.

    Police say the suspects are described as two men in either a dark blue or purple van. They were still working to gather preliminary information Thursday night.
     
    While residents remain vigilant, they're also applauding the way the girl reportedly reacted.
     
    "That child did the right thing," said Ritchie. "She fought back, and she yelled, and she screamed, and she scratched, and that's exactly what you're supposed to do."
     
    Some residents say they're keeping their kids inside until more information comes out, but they're also determined not to be scared in their own neighborhood.
     
    "We just need to band together," said Rivera. "We have a lot of crime in the area. It's up to us on top of the law enforcement."
     
    "I feel like an adult presence will give the impression that we're not willing to let people scare us off our own properties," said Ritchie.
     


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