UPDATE: Parents React To Possible Kidnapping At School

By: Kendra Potter Email
By: Kendra Potter Email

The parents of students who attend a Pueblo elementary school are on edge. They fear for the safety of their children after hearing about a possible kidnapping right in front of the school.

Pueblo police are investigating the incident that happened on Monday. They received a report from a 10-year-old boy that he was kidnapped from his school Monday and then released unharmed.

Parents are terrified saying the hardest part to accept about the incident is that it could have been their child.

"I was very scared and very concerned because you know having three kids you worry about their safety at school anyway," said Angela Platte, mother of three students.

"It's very scary as a parent, and having a child that is in fourth grade as well, it can happen to any child," said Amanda Lowry, parent of a fourth grader.

The boy told investigators that a man came to his school, Cesar Chavez Academy at 2500 W 18th around 4:39 pm. He was at the flag pole, where the boy normally meets his parents. The man told the boy his mother had sent him to pick him up. The boy got into the stranger's car, but realized when they got to Wild Horse Rd and 4th Rd, north of Pueblo Blvd and Hwy 50 West, that they were not on the way to his house. He asked the man to let him out of the car and the suspect reportedly did so.

The boy was located in the area of 32nd and Baltimore at about 6:46 pm after a lengthy search.

The boy was not injured in the incident. Pueblo police say so far all they have to go on is what the boy has told them about the incident.

The school sent a letter home to parents about the incident. They are now reviewing all their security policies and procedures to ensure this doesn't happen again. They will be enforcing a buddy system so a student never travels anywhere alone. They also encourage parents to establish a safe code word.

The lesson about taking rides from strangers can begin at home.

“He told this child he was there to pick up the child in place of mom and that would be tricky for most kids," said Kid Power director Jan Isaacs Henry Wednesay.

Isaacs Henry calls the reported abduction a classic case of one scenario children can be taught about by a trusted adult.

"If [the request] changes the plan that [a child] already arranged with [the child’s trusted] adults, you need to check first with an adult in charge," Isaacs Henry said.

Four other points good to practice in an interactive way with children in regards to strangers:

-Keep a safe distance.

-Don't talk to them

-Don't take anything from them

-Don't go anywhere with them.

The case Pueblo police are investigating involving the 10-year-old boy had a happy outcome.

"He did a great job, he had a lot of courage in this situation to talk his way out and get out of the car," said Isaacs Henry.

"We believe the best strategy is to empower the youngsters with some skills and tools to deal with these kinds of things," said Henry Roman, executive director of Cesar Chavez Academy.

"I told my kids just to be sure and stay together and we went over their reaction of what to do and where to strike them if they have to," said Mike Trujillo, parent of two kids.

The suspect is being described by police as a 19 to early 20’s Hispanic man 5 feet tall with a slender build. The suspect was wearing a white longer sleeve shirt, blue jeans, dark sunglasses, and short brown hair.

The suspect vehicle is a newer model 4 door silver or gray sedan with black side molding. The car had tinted windows and a black leather interior.

The Pueblo Police Department is asking for any information regarding the suspect or seen a juvenile walking Pueblo Blvd between Hwy 50 West and W 24th st on Monday (May 2) between 3:45 pm 05:30 pm to contact 719-553-2502 or 719-542-STOP.

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  • by Hannah Location: California on May 6, 2011 at 12:34 AM
    Parents should teach their children safety measures on how to protect themselves from any harm. We should not simply tell them about the danger but tell them to be cautious without filling them with fear or anxiety. I just want to share this service that I got for my kids protection. This is a cell phone based application that has a panic button to be pressed once the emergency occurs. And immediately family and friends will be alerted that there is an emergency. If needed, the call will be escalated to 911. For quick emergency access, check this out http://Safekidzone.com/
  • by anonymous Location: pueblo on May 5, 2011 at 11:46 AM
    Last comment was very well said. We need to come together as a community and help eachother out. praise the teachers and schools for helping the kids and caring for them. It is not an easy job to be a parent much less a teacher. We can all learn from these things but not everything can be prevented. No matter how good a a parent we each think we are we are not perfect.
  • by WhySoJudgemental Location: West Coast on May 5, 2011 at 10:03 AM
    Reading these posting, I never want to live in your town or have any of you as my neighbors. What a bunch of rude and thoughtless people. Shame on you. You attack the parents, the child and the school when the focus should be on the kidnapper! It is sad day when we just accept that evil people live amoung us without thinking about all the factors and issues that go into why those kind of people exist, how we as a society deal with them, etc. I understand they do exist. I did use code words with my children. I gave them cell phones and kept in close contact with them and school if I was running late HOWEVER the anger should be placed on the evil man that has struck fear in our hearts. He is the one in the wrong - everyone else was his victim. Even all of you as he and people like him have robbed you of your humanity and compassion.
    • reply
      by SafeAtHome on May 5, 2011 at 01:58 PM in reply to WhySoJudgemental
      THANK YOU!! I would just like to say AGAIN that the school did a phenomenal job in assisting with the search and in supporting our family emotionally.
    • reply
      by Janine on May 7, 2011 at 07:06 PM in reply to WhySoJudgemental
      Blah, babble, blah! Nice attempt at trying to appear all humble, innocent and the perfect go get em Parent. Boring!
  • by anonymous Location: pueblo on May 5, 2011 at 09:56 AM
    Its sad that this happened but also joyful for the safe return of the little boy. This could have happened at any school but people are going to place blame because it's Cesar Chavez Academy. I completely trust them with my kids and I know they do more than their best to make sure the kids are safe. It doesnt mean the parents aren't good parents and didn't teach their kids to not go with strangers. All we can do is hope that they make a wise choice if they were to face a horrible situation like this.It is sad that the parents are being bashed after having to go through a scary situation like this. Code word is a great idea and I am going to implement that with my kids. Great job CCA and God Bless this little boys family!!!
  • by Anonymous Location: pueblo on May 4, 2011 at 09:37 PM
    The teachers are very attentive and caring at CCA. You are an idiot to automatically blame the school for this without knowing the facts. How many other situations have you made these quick judgements and uninformed comments on. Have you ever taken responsibility when you or your kids have made a mistake or have you always lived looking for someone to blame. Shame on you!! GREAT JOB CCA staff and parents.
  • by springs concern Location: north on May 4, 2011 at 09:29 PM
    • reply
      by SafeAtHome on May 5, 2011 at 01:56 PM in reply to springs concern
      I WAS there when school let out. This news article had the information wrong... he was not waiting at 4:39, he was waiting at 3:39 - BEFORE school was released at 3:45. I missed him by literally 5 or 6 minutes.
  • by Anonymous Location: Pueblo on May 4, 2011 at 08:34 PM
    I am so glad that you got your little boy back, safe and sound! However, I am just sick to my stomach as to what took place. I have children here at CCA and have seen on many occasions the lack of supervision from the teachers. More concerning is that there are Kdg and 1st grade classrooms right where the flag pole is. I'm not so sure a 5 or 6 year old would have had the courage your boy did and lived to tell about it. As I picked up my children today, I saw no extra teacher supervision or security measures in place. Very disturbing!
  • by Anonymous on May 4, 2011 at 07:09 PM
    It's so hard because as much as we talk to our children it is ultimately up to them to keep themselves safe in a situation like this. After hearing the news I repeatedly told my 7 year old that I will NEVER send someone he doesn't know to pick him up and if I, for whatever reason, fail to show up he is to immediately go back inside the school to the office. I repeated and he repeated back. That's as much as I can do. I hate that there are sick jerks out there, free to roam, scaring parents and kids alike. I do not like that helpless feeling.
    • reply
      by Amazed on May 4, 2011 at 08:52 PM in reply to Anonymous
      Then don't leave it up to your child. As everyone has said in his defense, children don't have the ability to think things through and don't know any better, their just children. Why on earth would you leave it up to your child? I hope for his sake that someone out there cares more for your child than you apparently do. You ma'am, have no right to even be a Parent!
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 5, 2011 at 05:38 AM in reply to Amazed
        You're attacking me when I clearly said I repeatedly TALKED to my child?? What would you like me to do if I get into a car accident on the way to pick him up? Be there in "spirit" so he's not on his own?? Send good vibes so he can "feel" what he's supposed to do? All we can do as parents is repeat and repeat and repeat again and yes, it is ultimately up to the child to remember what we have told them. I am a good mother so don't judge me from behind your screen based on a 6 sentence paragraph, because I can too. Want me to guess your weight, race, age and gender? I bet I get close. 
        • reply
          by Desire on May 7, 2011 at 07:01 PM in reply to Anonymous
          Get off you soap box honey. You are turning this into something about you and it has nothing to do with you. It was just a comment by someone but you sure seem to have gotten all defensive about it for no reason. Is there something yo have done that we don't know about? That's usually why someone gets all crazy as you have done here. Relax and breath honey!
      • reply
        by SafeAtHome on May 5, 2011 at 01:54 PM in reply to Amazed
        Why is this turning into such an argument?? Can't we all just be thankful that my son is home safe and take this as a lesson to ALL of us to remind our kids repeatedly of stranger danger?
        • reply
          by Anonymous on May 5, 2011 at 03:36 PM in reply to SafeAtHome
          I didn't turn it into an argument, "Amazed" did when they attacked me as a parent. I, like you, have done all I can to teach my kids safety and if it were up to people like "Amazed" our children would never learn independence. I am so so happy that your son made it out of this situation alive but I am also hopeful that he took a huge lesson out of this. We cannot keep our babies locked in the house 24/7 but according to people like the above we are all bad parents for letting them out and trusting they will remember what we have taught them.
  • by Get a Clue Old Folks Location: Springs on May 4, 2011 at 03:49 PM
    Sounds like the boy went for a walk and to avoid getting in trouble, he made the whole thing up. I mean, really...what kidnapper is going to release someone right away. Get a clue, old folks.
    • reply
      by hw67 on May 4, 2011 at 09:13 PM in reply to Get a Clue Old Folks
      That's my thought too.
      • reply
        by SafeAtHome on May 5, 2011 at 01:51 PM in reply to hw67
        If you had seen the terror in his face when we finally found him you wouldn't think this.
    • reply
      by Mommy2s&e on May 12, 2011 at 09:39 AM in reply to Get a Clue Old Folks
      I suppose the other little boy within the same week was making it up, too? Along with the same physical description of the guy? He's not making anything up. You don't know this child. Or this family. I do.
  • by KKTV on May 4, 2011 at 02:21 PM
    S.S. please contact news@kktv.com - we'd like to ask you some questions.
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