Stranger danger: Nine-year-old boy almost kidnapped in Niles Monday
NILES, Mich.-- It was a kidnap attempt in broad daylight and a terrifying case of stranger danger. A 9-year-old boy claims a man in a red pickup truck tried to grab him Monday when he was out biking with friends.
Although his mother requested that we not use her son’s face or name—the brave young boy told ABC57, off-camera, everything that happened to him Monday morning.
The Niles Community School District did not have school today, so young children were out playing together Monday morning on Hickory Street near the intersection of Main Street in Niles.
“Yeah, there’s usually a good handful of kids playing right here in our yard. They’re always together,” said neighbor Michelle Judd. “One of the kids just happened to get a little bit further away from everybody else, and that’s when the incident happened. He was down the street by himself.”
The 9-year-old said he sped down the road in a bicycle and got away from his friends. He stopped the bike at the corner of Hickory & Main when he said a red pickup truck pulled over and parked across the street, next to him.
The boy, whose identity we are not disclosing at the request of his mother, said a man in the red pickup truck tried to grab him.
He said he held on to his bike for dear life, before kicking the perpetrator “in his private parts” and racing away to find a trusted adult.
The boy’s mother called the police.
“They knocked on my door, and the cop asked me if A had any cameras that were angled at the road,” said neighbor Ozzy, who declined to provide his last name.
Niles police, who confirmed Monday that officers are following up on this incident, canvassed the neighborhood to get information.
“Just having something like that happen on our street is very concerning,” Ozzy said.
Although the young boy got away and is okay, the incident is leaving neighbors, especially parents, on edge.
“I was so scared, I feel like I don’t want to go out anywhere now, just stay at home and watch them,” said neighbor Nancy Jaber, a mother of nine.
And all the friends who play together outside learned firsthand the importance of the buddy system.
“Maybe when it’s not school days, [police could] drive around the neighborhood a little more often,” Judd said. “Hopefully the parents will help make sure they’re doing a buddy system, that they’re not by themselves.”
One neighbor, who declined an on-camera interview, claims something very similar happened to her own daughter two years ago.
She says nothing ever came from that incident, and it’s scary to see it happen again.
The boy’s mother said she told him never to go that far from his friends again, and they always need to stay together when they’re outside playing, even on their own block.