9-Year-Old Says He Escaped Possible Abduction Attempt

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A young boy says he was just a few blocks from school when a stranger tried to grab him

The incident reportedly happened Monday around 9:30 a.m. as the boy was walking to Venetucci Elementary School near Willis Drive and Goret Drive in Security-Widefield. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is now investigating the boy's account.

Only 11 News talked with the boy, Caden, and his mom, Darla Carlton.

"Never talk to strangers no matter what," Caden said.

That's what the 9-year-old boy has been taught by his parents. Monday morning, it was put to the test. Caden told us he was just a few blocks from school when two men in a red car pulled up next to him. The driver tried talking to him.

"He was mumbling and he did this (motions), almost grabbed me," Caden recalled.

Caden said he backed away, then ran from the strangers. As soon as he was safely on school grounds, he immediately went to school officials. His mom says they're still shocked this happened, but that her son absolutely did the right thing.

"Very proud that he took the initiative to remember everything he was taught. To back away, and we’ll remember the screaming part next time hopefully, because I would've hoped he would've screamed his lungs out. But he did very good under pressure," Carlton said.

Caden told 11 News he's scared something like this could happen again. He hopes other kids can learn from what he went through.

"If you are walking home or to school you should never talk to strangers, ever, or going to a car if they tell you to," Caden said.

Investigators say that after Caden ran away, the suspects reportedly drove north on Security Boulevard.

The driver is described as a bald, white man in his 20s. He was wearing a gray shirt and sunglasses. The second person in the car is described as a man in his 30s with tan skin and a buzz cut.

An alert sent by District 3 to parents is below:

Widefield School District 3 is alerting parents about a reported incident that occurred Monday morning, May 19, as students were arriving to school.

A student was walking to Venetucci Elementary and was approached by an older model red car with two adult males inside. The passenger attempted to grab the student through the passenger window. The suspect was described as a white male, bald, in his 20s and wearing a gray shirt.

The student ran away and reported the incident to school administration. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office was notified and took a report and classified it as an “attempted abduction.”

We will have increased safety and security presence in and around all schools during this last week of school. Students are often reminded about safety and “stranger danger” at school. The district maintains a strong focus on student safety before, during and after school. If you see anyone matching this description, please call the El Paso County Sheriff's Office at (719) 390-5555.

Thank you.

Samantha Briggs
Director of Communication