Officials say it happened on Thursday, November 14th, 2013 at approximately 4:54pm in the area of 275th Street just west of 115th Avenue in Donahue, Iowa. A boy was riding his bike on 275th Street when a white man in a grey/silver Ford minivan “grabbed the juvenile by the arm in an attempt to pull him into the van” according to a press release.
The boy was able to get away, but residents in the small town say they’re feeling a little uneasy.
“I’m very surprised that happened out here, but with the way things are going in the country, nothing surprises you anymore,” Jim Seifert said. “Still, very unusual for our area. Very unusual.”
“There’s an awful lot of screwed up people out there,” Bob Westerhof said. “It can happen anywhere I guess.”
The location is only a half-mile away from John Glenn Elementary School. North Scott Community School District Superintendent Jeff Schwiebert says the 14 year old boy was not from that school, but he says an attempted abduction could happen to anyone anywhere.
“It could happen on a city block,” he told News 8’s Angie Sharp. “It can happen out in the rural area.”
“We’re using this as an opportunity just to remind our kids that now is the time to be a little bit aware of where you are and what’s going on around you.”
Mr. Schwiebert says the district sent out e-mails and phone calls to parents telling them what happened and had more eyes on students as they left for the day on Friday, November 15th.
Meanwhile, neighbors say the street where it happened may be to blame because it recently went from gravel to paved.
“Before it was all local traffic and now you see a lot more thru traffic,” Jim said. “People are going through that you normally wouldn’t see.”
Whether that’s a true factor in this case or not, the community says it’s on the watch and police want you to be as well.
They’re looking for a white man with dark hair. Investigators say he could be 40-50 years old, six feet tall, weighing 200-250 pounds. They say he was wearing a plaid black and red flannel type shirt and ripped up jeans.
The vehicle they are looking for is a gray of silver Ford minivan with a white license plate and red lettering. Investigators say there is also some damage to the vehicle.
If you see anything that matches these descriptions, police are asking you to call 911 or the Scott County Sheriff’s Office at (563) 326-8625.