TEMPLE, Texas (FOX 44) — On Saturday, March 25th, around 1:51 p.m., the Temple Police Department responded to calls of an attempted kidnapping of an 8-year-old girl at the Walmart on West Adams.
Temple PD’s Lt. Brian Moody, shared with FOX 44 News that they spoke with both the victim and Walmart employees.
Moody said the 8-year-old girl was with her Great-Grandmother shopping in Walmart, when a man approached the child a few feet away from her Great-Grandmother, making casual conversation.
The interaction then escalated quickly.
“He asked her to lift her shirt and then he demonstrated as well. And then he asked her to accompany him to the toy aisle. She said no. He attempted to grab her arm. She said no again. And at that point, broke away and ran screaming and found her great grandmother,” said Lt. Moody.
The person of interest quickly left the store.
The Temple Police Department released a picture of the person of interest.
He is described to have short hair, a mustache, and beard. Somewhere between 50 and 60 years old. Wearing a blue shirt and jeans with a grey hat.
Temple PD is not releasing the name of the Central Texas man yet but says they are in contact with him.
Lt. Moody encourages parents and guardians to speak with their children about the dangers of strangers.
“Teach them if they’re approached by a stranger who’s asking them to do things that aren’t necessarily right or that makes them suspicious, to right away a scream. Be loud, run, get somebody’s attention.”
He also advises for witnesses to call 911 immediately if you see something suspicious, get the attention of a store employee, and in some situations make a commotion by making the perpetrator uncomfortable to the point where they leave.
There were no injuries during the abduction attempt and this investigation is actively ongoing.
Anyone with information can contact the Temple Police Department at 254-298-5500 or the Bell County Crime Stoppers at 254-526-8477, anonymously.
Tips can also be submitted anonymously at bellcountycrimestoppers.com.