Police offer safety tips to parents after man attempts to grab a - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Police offer safety tips to parents after man attempts to grab a child



Police in Sioux City are investigating an incident in Morningside after a child claimed a man tried to entice her away from her home.

Police say they were called to a home on the 1900 block of South Cypress Street just before five p.m. last night. 

Police say a 10-year-old told her mom she was approached by a man while she was in her backyard, which is near an alley. 

The child told her mother that the man tried to grab her arm, but she was able to make it back into her home. 

"We don't have any vehicle description out, that the suspect was in any kind of vehicle so, at this point, we are not looking for any particular make and model of car," says Sgt. Ryan Bertrand. 

Police say the suspect description they were given was a white male around 6 feet tall with a slender build. 

He was described as having short dark hair and wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. 

Police say if you have any information to contact them at 258-TIPS.

The scary situation is bringing the need of safety awareness to the forefront of parents minds. 

"You hear the big buzz word lately of sexual trafficking," says Sgt. Ryan Bertrand. " It does happen that children are taken and never come home and sometimes get killed or live a life of some type of slavery or some other type of horrific abuse." 

Police say it's important to take every situation involving your child safety seriously, even if certain ones don't occur very often in the community. 

"In Sioux City, we don't have a high occurrence of these types of calls," says Sgt. Bertrand. 

 Police say it's important to protect your children. They say you can even contact them to get some education for your kids.

They have some tips for parents on what conversations they should be having with their child when it comes to developing a safety plan.

"What is the known route? This is the route that you will always take or here are landmarks or safe spots along the route that they can go to. Maybe a friends house or teacher or someone that they know," says Sgt. Bertrand. 

And, police say it's important that your child knows what to do if a scary situation ever should arise. 

"To physically resist is important. It's going to cause more of a scene and more of an attraction if it happened to be in a public place," says Sgt. Bertrand. 


Sioux City Police are urging parents to talk to your child about safety after a 10-year-old girl was approached by a man while in her backyard Thursday at 4:46 p.m. 

Police said a man attempted to grab her arm and fled into the residence near the 1900 Block of South Cypress. 

Police said the suspect is described as a white man about six foot tall, slender build, with short dark hair, wearing a white shirt and jeans. 

Police said he left on foot. 

Officers responded to the scene and checked the area and did not locate a person matching the description. 

Police said the case remains under investigation. 

Information for parents: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Trends Identified in Attempted Abductions

We’ve recently completed an analysis of 14,500+ incidents known to NCMEC and confirmed with law enforcement spanning a period from January 1, 2005 – December 31, 2017, that indicates attempted abductions happen more often when a child is going to and from school or school-related activities, more often involve children between the ages of 10 to 14, happen to more female children than male, and involve a suspect using a vehicle. 

A common pattern with the children who escaped their would-be abductors is that the child did something proactive (screaming/yelling to draw attention; running/physically pulling away) as opposed to being passive or polite.

70 percent of attempted abductions involved the suspect driving a vehicle.

34 percent occurred between 2:00-7:00 pm; the time frame when children are out of school and are least likely to be supervised.

APPROXIMATELY 31 percent of attempted abductions happened when the child was going to and from school or school related activity.

65 percent of attempted abductions involve a female child.

36 percent of the children are between the age of 10-14 years old.

Of the incidents that had a known outcome of how the child escaped the suspect:

53 percent of the children walked or ran away from the suspect (no physical contact).

26 percent of the children reported some type of reaction (yelling, kicking, pulling away, or attracting attention).

20 percent of the incidents involved either a Good Samaritan or a parent becoming involved in rescuing the child.

For incidents in which a perpetrator was identified or arrested:

13 percent of perpetrators were registered sex offenders at the time of the incident.

21 percent of confirmed incidents involved a sex crime of either sexual assault or indecent exposure.

For the incidents in which the suspect used a known lure (There were over 100 different lures used in the over 14,500 Attempted Abduction reports analyzed since 2005), the five most utilized lures were:

26 percent offered the child a ride.

11 percent offered the child candy or sweets.

19 percent asked the child questions.

8 percent offered the child money.

6 percent used an animal (offering, looking for or showing).

Safety Tips

• If your child walks to school, walk the route with him/her to identify landmarks and safe places to go if he/she is being followed or needs help. Create a map with your child showing acceptable routes to and from school using main roads and avoiding shortcuts and isolated areas.

• Determine the policy for releasing students both after school and at other times. Does the school require visitors to register in the front office, and have you provided a list of people who may remove your child from school?

• Check with the school to see what policy they have regarding posting names and photos online. Identifying/personal information should not be posted in a public forum. If photos are posted, they should be group photos not identifying individual children. The start of the school year is also a great time to update your children’s photo ID kits.

• Find opportunities or “teachable moments” to practice safety skills with your child. Create “what if” scenarios for your child to make sure he/she understands safety messages and how to use them in a real situation.

• If anyone tries to grab your child, tell him/her to loudly yell, "This person is trying to take me" or "This person is not my father/mother." Instruct your child to make every effort to escape by walking, running, or pulling away: yelling, kicking, attracting attention and/or otherwise resisting.

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