Mother Of Abduction Target Talks To KLTV - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Mother Of Abduction Target Talks To KLTV

Parents are on high alert, and police are on patrol as students return to school after the second attempted abduction in recent weeks. 

The first abduction happened Friday, January 19th on North Haynie Street just across from Douglas Elementary in Tyler. The driver in that incident was an hispanic male in his mid 40's driving a green hatchback.

Then, just more than a week later, a similar incident happened in the 700 block of East Queen Street.  That boy's mother says an hispanic man in his 50s with gray hair and a goatee driving a light blue car tried to pull her 10 year old son into the car with him. The child was able to get away and run for help.

Monday KLTV 7's spoke with the mother of one of the boys, law enforcement officers, and parents of children in that neighborhood. All of them are understandably worried about the perpetrators still on the loose.  

Take one look at Ashley Gabbert's front yard, and  you can see her children love playing in it. It's what they were doing on Saturday, but when Ashley went to check on them, they were gone.

"I yelled for their names, and they came running out of the woods straight over there. He came running out, heart beating, just crying, and I was like, 'What's wrong?'  He said, 'A man just tried to grab me and put me in his car.'

Ashley lives just around the corner from Douglas elementary.  The first attempted abduction happened just across the street from the campus. Today, there was a larger than usual police presence, but parents we spoke with say they're still worried.

Elizabeth Mendoza has a 9 year old daughter at the school.

She says, "You try and try to teach your kids to stay away from strangers.  She and I have a pretty good plan of, you know, trying to keep her away from people she doesn't know."

Law enforcement is urging parents to talk to their kids about 'stranger danger,' but Elizabeth relies on a different method to keep their kids safe.

"We have a password. If somebody tries to come and tell her, 'Mom told me to come and pick you up,' she knows to ask the password.  If they don't know it, she doesn't go," says Mendoza.

The technique was introduced years ago, and police say it can still be effective today.

For Jessie Ray, the incident means he will no longer walk the four blocks down his street to the after school program he loves, and his mother says from now on, her children will only be outside, when she can be there with them.  

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting:


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