PARK RIDGE, Ill. (STMW) – A student at Maine East High School in north suburban Park Ridge was reportedly the victim of an attempted abduction while walking to school on Wednesday.
Cook County Sheriff’s Police Deputy Cmdr. Anthony Brzezniak said the 18-year-old girl was walking about 7:30 a.m. through the Robin Drive subdivision just north of Maine East when a man driving a blue van began speaking to her.
The student reported that the man spoke only Spanish and she told him she did not speak the language and asked him to leave her alone, Brzezniak said.
As the student walked onto Bobbie Lane the man reportedly began speaking to the student again before grabbing her wrist with his left hand and pulling her toward the van. When the girl began to scream, the man let go of her wrist and drove away, Brzezniak said. The student reported the incident when she arrived at school, he said.
According to an alert issued to elementary school parents by Park Ridge-Niles School District 64, the suspect is described as a Hispanic man with black hair, brown eyes and a mustache.
Brzezniak said Cook County Sheriff’s police increased their presence in the neighborhood after the attempted abduction was reported.
“We have stepped up patrols and made notification to our gang unit,” he said Friday, referring to the Cook County Gang Crimes Unit, which is active within the unincorporated area, particularly the Robin Drive and Dee Road neighborhoods.
Brzezniak added that investigators were “trying to follow up on all the leads we have on the vehicle.”
Park Ridge Police Cmdr. Lou Jogmen said his department was notified of the incident and informed the area schools in Park Ridge. There were no plans for Park Ridge to supplement the sheriff’s department with increased patrols within the unincorporated area, Jogmen said.
Anyone with information should contact the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, (708)-865-4700.