MANCHESTER, MO (KPLR)--There was a warning from Manchester Police Tuesday about five young men they said tried to abduct a 15-year-old girl who was walking her dog. The girl got away and so did the suspects.
Fox2 spoke to her and her family, agreeing to withhold their identities.
The girl said she was OK physically; but very shaken emotionally.
There were surveillance cameras at nearby businesses and hope they caught the suspects’ car after the girl fended them off, with the help of her fearless confidant, Gunner, the dog.
It was a walk Gunner, a Black Lab, almost didn’t make. The victim thought about leaving home without him. Thank God for second thoughts.
“She thought about not taking him for a walk after school. She said, ‘oh that would be mean to Gunner.’ Thank God she took him,” her father said.
“I guess it’s a good thing she had her dog with herand maybe she was a little bit older. Had it been one of my kiddos, they would have been in the car,” said Michele Peterson, a neighborhood resident with sons ages 4 & 3. “Thinking that there’s somebody out there trying to take kids, it’s just scary. It’s alarming.”
Police gave this account: Five suspects drove past the victim in the 500 block of Enchanted Parkway, around 3:30 Monday afternoon, waving at her; she waved back thinking nothing of it; then the suspects circled back.
Her father said she was wearing headphones and didn’t hear them, at first.
“At which time the driver yelled out to her, ‘hey, get in the car’. At that point she said no. All 5 occupants of the vehicle exited the vehicle. One of them approached her from behind as she was trying to run away; grabbed her by the shoulder, spun her around, as if he was going to push her back into the car,” said Manchester Police Det. Sgt. Dan Rehm.
“The guys goes, ‘that’s not an option’. The dog protected her and blocked her… he got down on his front legs to block them,” the victim’s father said.
Gunner’s” barking and another passing vehicle “spooked” the suspects, who sped out of the neighborhood in a faded red, early 2000’s model Grand Am or Grand Prix, with a spoiler, and a very dark, tinted rear window, police said.
“Even if you have a big dog like this, don’t have head phones on, or in your ear. She’s learned her lesson. That’s why she didn’t hear them. Her dog saved her life,” the victim’s father said. “I think they were going to throw her in the trunk and take her away.”
Police described the suspects as 17-20 years old -- a number of them, including the driver, appeared to be Hispanic -- with short, dark hair, around 5'9 -- with slender builds.
If you have any information, call Manchester Police at (636) 227-1410.
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