Austin Police looking for public's help identifying attempted kidnapping suspect
AUSTIN, Texas —
The Austin Police Department Child Abuse Unit is looking for the public's help in identifying a suspect in an attempted kidnapping in East Austin last month.
Police say the suspect approached the child victim in the 2500 block of Rosewood Avenue at the Booker T. Washington apartment complex around 8 p.m on Tuesday, September 19.
Detectives with the child abuse unit obtained new surveillance video of the suspect. It was captured the same day of the incident.
"The video surveillance was near where the victim and children were playing prior to the kidnapping," said Detective Eric Guevara.
The suspect asked the victim for help locating his lost brown dog. The child was promised money and went with the suspect, who forced the victim into his vehicle.
The child was able to escape several minutes later.
Although the victim escaped, APD still wants to find the man responsible.
"I do want to share with families with young children out there to be aware and vigilant and remember stranger danger and not to talk to strangers and especially don't go off with strangers," Guevara said.
The suspect is described as a white or Hispanic male with a muscular build, 5'5" to 5'8", with short black hair with a bald spot, and tattoos on his upper arm.
He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, dark blue jean shorts and basketball shoes.
The suspect's vehicle is described as a white, older model 4-door with a "trashy" interior.
Caris Smith has lived in the Booker T. Washington apartment complex for four years. She said this is a scary time for single moms.
"With this being low income housing, this is a place for single mothers with children, and it is very sad, and we don't have gates to protect us. We don't have security or police out here," Smith said.
Smith has one son and tells CBS Austin he's not allowed outside alone anymore.
"Of course I don't let my son go outside. It's just a no no and it's terrible to live somewhere or be a resident of a neighborhood and not be able to let your child come outside because there is a lot of danger out here," Smith said.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Austin Police Department Child Abuse Unit at 512-974-6880 or Capital Area Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477.