Police are warning city residents after a group of men attempted to abduct a 15-year-old girl as she jogged in the Gage Park neighborhood.
Police said the girl was jogging around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday on California Avenue near West 50th Street when about four or five men in a dark blue vehicle with tinted rear windows pulled alongside of her and a man in his 20s jumped out to grab her.
The man, who was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and dark brown shorts, grabbed the girl by the arm and tried to pull her into the vehicle while saying “get in the car,” according to a community alert released Wednesday.
The girl was able to break free from the man’s grasp and flee the scene. The vehicle fled southbound on California Avenue, the alert said.
"There's a lot of children on this block," said area resident Linda Jenicek. "A lot of them. It's scary."
Ald. Ed Burke said, in light of the incident, he's reminding residents to participate in the neighborhood watch program.
"The police can't do this themselves," Burke said. "They need the cooperation of the citizens."
Yesenia Maya, 19, says she knows to be on guard when she's walking in the area.
"I try to walk mainly through the area which has more light and more people go through that area," she said.
But Burke said it's also important to be aware of your surroundings.
"Be aware of what's going on around you," he said. "Take responsibility for your neighbors. We're in this together."
Police are asking anyone with information to contact Area Central detectives at (312) 747-8380.