Suspect in attempted child abduction in Lafayette arrested


Ralph Grohs, a 57-year-old transient who frequents the Lafayette area, was located around 5 p.m. Saturday at the Lafayette Library on Mt. Diablo Boulevard, according to police.

He was arrested on suspicion of attempted kidnapping and probation violation.

Police began a search for a suspect after a parent reported a man attempting to grab her 8-year-old child in Lafayette Saturday morning.

The parent said a disheveled looking man held out his hand to grab the child's hand around 11:30 a.m. on Golden Gate Way near the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, Police Chief Eric Christensen said.

The parent called her child over, and the man began to approach them.

Feeling threatened, the parent ran away and the man followed. When the parent entered a business, the suspect attempted to follow her inside but the door was closed against him, Christensen said. He then fled the area.

While the suspect's exact intentions remained somewhat unclear, "I'd much rather err on the side of caution," Christensen said this afternoon as police searched the area.

The suspect was described as a "disheveled" white adult male man around 60 years old with gray hair, a pockmarked or wrinkled face and possible mental health issues, according to police. He was wearing a dark green shirt or jacket with long sleeves.

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