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News Release

Monday, March 13, 2000

Media Relations

Misunderstanding Leads to Police Investigation

LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
PRESS RELEASE
Monday, March 13, 2000



"Misunderstanding Leads to Police Investigation"

Los Angeles - On Thursday, March 9, 2000, at approximately 3:40 PM, Southwest Area Patrol Officers responded to a radio call regarding an attempt kidnapping at Vermont Elementary School, located at 1435 W. 27th Street. The victim reported that as she stood in front of the school awaiting her sister, she noticed a red compact car. (A male Hispanic was driving the vehicle and a female Hispanic was the front passenger. Two female juveniles were seated in the back seat.)

The male held a cellular phone up and told the a victim, "Hey get in and give me your aunt's phone number." The victim became alarmed and started to cry as she refused to enter the car. A passerby saw the distressed victim and asked what was going on. The suspect's vehicle then drove away.

Southwest Area Detectives began an investigation and prepared a CRIME ALERT and PRESS RELEASE to notify the local schools, citizens, and the news media. The victim and her mother were re-interviewed.

On Friday March 10th the Vermont Elementary School Administrative Staff received information concerning the female Hispanic that was in the red vehicle on the 9th. She was reported to be the mother of a school student. A short time later the woman arrived at the school to pick up her daughter. Southwest Officers were notified.

Detectives responded to the school and interviewed the female Hispanic. The woman stated that she and a male friend went to the school to pick up her daughter. She noticed the little girl (victim) in front of the school looking somewhat distressed. She questioned the girl and found that she was waiting for her sister. The girl appeared to be frightened of waiting by herself. She then asked the girl if she would go with her into the school office and wait inside, but the girl stated she had to wait outside in case the sister arrived. The woman then proceeded to pick up her daughter and returned to her vehicle. The girl was still waiting and requested the woman to wait with her. She said she couldn't wait, but offered to let the girl call her mother or aunt on a cell-phone. The girl did not want to call her mother and did not want the woman to leave until the sister arrived. A passerby noticed the girl was distressed and inquired into what was going on. The woman spoke briefly to the passerby and then left with her child and friend.

Detectives again questioned the victim and her mother and determined that the woman's story was accurate and that no crime had occurred. Detectives are still trying to clear up a few loose ends, however, they are quite certain that no kidnapping or attempt kidnapping occurred.




For Release 4:00 pm PST
March 13, 2000



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