15-year-old escapes attempted kidnapping in broad daylight; susp - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

15-year-old escapes attempted kidnapping in broad daylight; suspect arrested

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SUNNYSIDE, WA - On November 1st, 2017 at about 2:50 p.m., law enforcement officers from the Yakima County Sheriff's Office and the Sunnyside Police Department responded to the area of the 1500 block of S 16th Street, Sunnyside regarding an attempted abduction/kidnapping of a 15-year-old female high school student. The student was walking home from school when she was approached by a maroon colored sport utility vehicle near the 1600 block of S 16th St.

The driver attempted to engage the female student in conversation before he opened the rear hatch of his vehicle, exited the vehicle and grabbed the girl by the hair. The suspect tried to drag the victim back to his car while trying to cover the mouth of the female victim as she screamed for help.

The screaming of the victim attracted the attention of another citizen in the area who shouted at the suspect. The victim fought and was able to break free and get away.

The suspect was described as having red hair and a short beard.

The victim was not seriously injured.

Yakima County Sheriff's detectives have arrested the suspect in the case. The suspect is described as being a 22-year-old male from Sunnyside, and has been booked into the Yakima County jail pending an initial court appearance. Detectives have located the vehicle involved, and there are no additional suspects being sought at this time.

The break in the case came from tips being called in to law enforcement authorities regarding possible suspects.

The victim was a total stranger to the suspect.

"This is an example of an extremely dangerous set of circumstances for the female victim," wrote Detective Sergeant Mike Russell with the Yakima County Sheriff's Office. "The victim is commended for reacting to this situation as well as she did. The victim fought against the suspect and made a lot of noise to attract the attention of others. The quick response and reactions of the female victim may have saved her life, for had the suspect been able to get the victim into his vehicle, his intentions are not yet clear to investigators.

"The suspect does not have a lengthy criminal history and has no known gang ties.

"Citizens are reminded that these types of violent stranger crimes are not common in the Yakima Valley," Sgt. Russell wrote. "Investigators are very gratified to have been able to identify and arrest a suspect. Citizens are reminded that there is no need to live in fear in our community even considering all of the violent crime taking place in our world.  Citizens are reminded however to remain alert to our surroundings and to remember that there are a lot of good people in our community that are willing to get involved in a moments notice when called upon."

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office at 574-2500 or 800-572-0490.  Tips including anonymous tips can also be called into Crime Stoppers of Yakima County at 248-9980 or 800-248-9980 or on the internet at yakima.crimestoppersweb.com.

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