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UPDATED 10/27/11 7:39 a.m.
AURORA (CBS) – An 11-year-old student crossing guard was nearly abducted by a complete stranger Wednesday morning in west suburban Aurora.
As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, it happened at a crosswalk outside Greenman Elementary School, 729 W. Galena Blvd., just before the start of classes on Wednesday.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports
A dark blue pickup truck was parked just beyond the crosswalk and, while four children were crossing the street, the driver motioned for the student crossing guard, an 11-year-old girl, to come over to his truck.
The 5th grader screamed and gathered the other children and rushed them inside the school.
“She apparently screamed, and started to round up the other children. There were four other children – they were both male and female – third to fifth graders – and she started to shuffle them toward the school,” said Aurora police spokesman Dan Ferrelli.
The driver then jumped out of the pickup and ran after the girl, at one point grabbing her arm.
Authorities said the girl managed to break free and her quick thinking likely saved her and the other children from certain harm.
“Obviously, she took her role as a crossing guard to heart and protected the other children,” Greenman Elementary spokesman Mike Chapin said.
“I would say that her reaction in this case was nothing short of remarkable. I mean, not only doing the right thing as far as her own personal safety is concerned, but the forethought to protect the other children,” Aurora Police spokesman Dan Ferrelli said.
Especially disturbing in this case was that the suspect jumped out of his car and tried to grab the crossing guard. Fortunately, she was able to escape.
Authorities were immediately on the scene at Greenman Elementary and every other school in that area of Aurora, but the suspect’s dark blue pick-up has not been located.
Both parents and students here were notified of the incident and grief counselors were being made available to help them cope. All have praise for the young guard.
“She saved them,” parent Letrina Childs said. “If he ran after her, who knows what else he would have did.”
“It’s kind of sad, but … in another way, it’s good because for a child to know something like that is … pretty amazing,” parent Rena Nour said.
The suspect was described as a Hispanic male, medium complexion, about 5-feet-10, with a thin build. He has a mustache and a goatee and was last seen wearing a white hat with a logo, a white hoodie, dark jeans, and Jordan type shoes.
Police said they have no other witnesses and they are looking for the community’s help. In the meantime, a heavy police presence was expected for the start of school for most Aurora schools on Thursday.