Covering Chicago's Back-to-School Season

Second Attempted Abduction Reported Near Chicago Charter School

Girl was approached while walking to school with her young brothers.

By Michelle Relerford
|  Friday, Sep 6, 2013  |  Updated 1:20 PM CDT
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Someone tried luring three young children into a van Friday morning near a Chicago charter school in Washington Park, the second attempted abduction in a week near the school. Michelle Relerford reports.

Someone tried luring three young children into a van Friday morning near a Chicago charter school in Washington Park, the second attempted abduction in a week near the school. Michelle Relerford reports.

Someone tried luring three young children into a van Friday morning near a Chicago charter school in Washington Park, the second attempted abduction in a week near the school.

Family members said a man in a white car approached a 9-year-old girl walking with her 5- and 6-year-old brothers around 7:15 a.m. The three were on their way to the Chicago International Charter Schools campus on the 100 block of East 61st Street.

The man told them to get inside the car, their mother Crystal Phillips said. Phillips said the man rolled down his window and started calling for help. When they refused and started running to the school, he got out of the vehicle and started chasing them, she said.

"My daughter reported that a man chased them all the way to school," Phillips said, "and my daughter said a man had a gun."

Administrators said a similar incident happened last Friday afternoon, when a man got out of a car and started chasing a student who was waiting for a bus. This child also was able to get away and parents reported the incident to police.

Police confirmed the attempted abduction and said a man was taken into custody.

A letter was sent to parents from the school notifying them of the incident.

"We need the community to come together," Managing Director Stacey Shells said. "We need neighbors to look out their windows in the morning. We need people in the community to be vigilant."

Parents in the area say they've been working to get more of a police presence.

"We've been on the police department to get a camera," Anthony Caldwell said. "This is just one of a few incidents. Last year we used to have gang members park in this parking lot and shoot at the other gang members across the street."

Police were on the scene of the school Friday to interview students, and squad cars were seen circling the block.

Phillips said she will walk with her children to school from now on.

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