Updated 11/15/11 – 4:35 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A 17-year-old girl escaped to safety this week after being kidnapped at a bus stop on the city’s West Side.
Around 7:20 a.m. Monday, the girl was waiting at a bus stop in the 300 block of North Kedzie Avenue in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, an alert from Harrison Area detectives said.
A van pulled to the curb, and a man got out and forced the girl into the van.
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The man drove the van to a garage at an unspecified location. The girl later escaped from the garage.
As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, the bus stop where the girl was abducted is the kind of spot that already makes some neighbors nervous. There’s a halfway house for just released prisoners across the street and a few vacant lots nearby.
Local resident Ariella Boyd said she doesn’t go to that bus stop without her boyfriend.
“Usually I take the train, but even wehn I do take the train, I have my boyfriend walk me. And when I take the bus, I have him sit at the bus stop with me or I call him before I’m off the bus to be waiting here for me,” she said.
Her boyfriend, Alex Cologne, said, “When people are alone, other people just try to take advantage of others and I wouldn’t want that happening to her.”
But police said the 17-year-old abduction victim was alone when a van pulled up to the curb and the driver forced her inside.
She was later left in a garage, but she managed to escape. Authorities said they are hopeful that, even at that hour, someone witnessed something
Local resident Freddie Davis said that normally around 7 a.m. there are plenty of kids going to school on that street.
Anthony Williams said, “You got people on their way to work and children on their way to school.”
“There’s narcs (narcotics officers) here, but they are usually watching the other blocks for drug trafficking,” Boyd said.
Now, in a neighborhood already coping with problems, neighbors like Boyd are even more on edge.
The victim could only provide authorities with a vague description of her abductor, but the vehicle is memorable.
The van described as a purple van with gray “bondo” patches, which cover body damage, on the passenger’s side.
The kidnapper is described as an African-American man 30 to 40, between 6 feet and 6 feet 6 inches tall, 200 to 220 pounds, bald and wearing dark clothing.
Police said the victim suffered some minor injuries.
The garage she escaped from is in the area near Ogden and Homan.
Police asking anyone with information to contact Harrison Area detectives at (312) 746-8252.