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Concord police: Man tried to abduct 11-year-old girl

The police are looking for a man they said tried to abduct an 11-year-old girl Thursday in Concord.

The incident happened about 7 p.m. outside the Concord City Auditorium on Prince Street, according to the police, who said the girl was waiting for a ride after leaving an event. The police said a man approached the girl, grabbed her by the arm and said, “You need to follow me to my car.”

The girl pulled away and ran inside the auditorium for help.

“What makes it the most (concerning) to me would be the fact that we believe there to have been a number of people in the area literally just prior to this occurring,” Concord Police Department Sgt. Cori Casey said. “It’s relatively brazen for a person to attempt to actually grab hold of a child in an area where we believe there to be so many people.”

Casey hopes that the incident happening when others were around means someone saw the attempted abduction take place or saw the man shortly before or after.

The individual is described as being a white male between 25 and 35 years old and 200 to 225 pounds with long hair, a slender build and medium height. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, dark jeans and work boots. Casey said he had piercings in one of his eyebrows and an ear.

Individuals with information about this crime are asked to call the Concord Regional Crimeline at 226-3100 or the Concord Police Department at 225-8600.

The area where the alleged attempted kidnapping occurred is just feet from the police department and in a neighborhood often filled with children, according to Casey, who said kids regularly attend events at the auditorium or at the nearby Green Street Community Center.

Girls Inc., an organization that provides services such as after-school care, is located around the corner from the auditorium.

Karen Billings, the group’s regional director, said yesterday afternoon that she wasn’t yet aware of the incident and that she’s never heard of anything similar happening in the area.

“The police department is right next door, so I feel pretty safe being here,” she said.

Casey said parents should take normal precautions but not be shy about reporting anything suspicious to the police.

He said the young girl showed extreme poise under stress to not only get away from the man but then be able to provide officials with a very detailed description.

“Her reaction was to immediately pull away, and she did a great job by going back into the location that had the most adults present so she could immediately report it to them and get assistance to the police department,” he said.

“We’re very proud of her decision-making process by going back into the area where she believed to be safest.”

(Tricia L. Nadolny can be reached at 369-3306 or tnadolny@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @tricia_nadolny.)

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