SJ neighborhood on alert after attempted abduction

January 24, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A normally quiet East San Jose neighborhood is on high alert over a child kidnapping attempt. Police have a sketch of the man who tried to grab the child, but they haven't looked at video of the attempt yet.

The trauma isn't over for the 13-year-old girl who screamed and got away from the kidnapper. Nor for the residents of the neighborhood, who say they won't rest until the suspect is caught.

It's a family-oriented neighborhood known as Little Portugal. And residents of East St. James Street are angry after learning of the attempted abduction of a 13-year-old girl, which was captured on surveillance video, taken shortly after 6 a.m. last Friday. It could have been any of their children.

"Just hope the police will get him before we do because if he falls in my hands, to be honest, I'll castrate him," neighbor Manuel Alves said. When asked if he was joking, Alves answered, "No, I'm not."

The suspect is still at large. San Jose police released a sketch of a Latino man, 25 to 35 years old, 5'10" with black hair and brown eyes.

The video was shot by a home security system at Georgina and Frank Tavares' home, right across the street from the attempted abduction. They believe they've seen the suspect before.

"Back in September around 4:30 in the morning, he came out of nowhere, and I acknowledged him, let him know that I see him, and that I'm not afraid of him," Georgina said. "As soon as I turned around to let my husband now that there's a man outside out of the blue, he was just gone."

The 13-year-old victim was walking to a friend's house before going to school together when the suspect grabbed her. Neighbors recall hearing her screams for help.

Melissa Rodriguez describes what her sister heard, "She was like, 'am I dreaming or was that really a scream?' And I was like, 'no that was really a scream,' cause I was like, 'the cops are looking for someone.' And she's like, 'oh yeah, I heard her scream two times'"

Residents are now wary of any strange car that drives by. Or any stranger they don't know. The incident has put neighbors on high alert to be vigilant.

"Things like this, they shouldn't happen," Georgina said. "You should know your neighbor, and when there's a stranger out there, let them know, what are you doing here? Don't turn your back 'cause that can be you."

ABC7 News was able to obtain the home security video. Police detectives have not seen the video yet. That was confirmed by the family that took the video because they say they haven't been contacted by the police. SJPD, however, now says they're working to obtain a copy.

If you have any information on this suspect, you're encouraged to call the San Jose Police Department.


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