Harbor City Girl Escapes Kidnap, Describes Suspect

June 21, 2006

Los Angeles: Los Angeles police detectives have distributed a sketch of man suspected in trying to kidnap a 12-year-old Hispanic girl off the street in Harbor City last week.

The young girl was walking to her junior high school around 8 o’clock in the morning, last Friday, June 16, 2006, when she noticed a large, white van parked in the lot of the Family Ranch Market on Western Avenue, near Pacific Coast Highway. The van’s driver asked the girl, "Do you need a ride?"

The little girl was frightened and told the man, "No." She continued walking, then felt someone grab her arm as she passed the Der Wienerschitzel on Pacific Coast Highway. The girl was able to pull free and the man ran away. The girl was sure the man was the same man from the van.

"This young lady did everything right," said Detective Michelle Esquivel-Solis, who is assigned to the Harbor Police Station. "The girl’s resistance was enough to scare the man away. She was very brave, and she was a good witness, too."

The young victim was able to provide detectives with details of the man’s appearance and his van. The girl reported seeing the same man in the vicinity over the weekend, so he may live in the area.

The victim described the suspect as a Hispanic male with a dark complexion, and in his thirties. He is 5 feet 10 inches tall with a medium, muscular build. His head is shaved, and he has a one to three-day growth of beard. He was wearing a gray T-shirt with a yellow stripe. He has a tattoo on his upper right arm.

The white van appeared to have a do-it-yourself paint job with noticeable drips and streaks. The van has a rusted side door handle.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Esquivel-Solis at 310-522-2031. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).