Police are searching for a man who attempted to kidnap a young girl in Rancho Cucamonga.
The incident occurred as the 9-year-old was picking flowers in the greenbelt area of Tanglewood Court and Bear Creek Avenue, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department stated in a news release.
The news release stated the attempted kidnapping occurred about 5:24 p.m. Thursday, however, a resident who witnessed the incident said it occurred Wednesday evening.
“She had actually crossed the street to go pick a flower, and that’s when a man was walking behind me and he grabbed her wrist and he took her behind the bush area,” Kristie Vargas said.
The man started to lead her toward the community pool but Vargas said the kidnapper was scared off and let the girl go when her son slammed their front door.
“She walked towards me winded and looking kind of upset. But she’s an amazing, strong little girl,” Vargas said.
Vargas called police, who she said arrived so quickly she was still on the phone with the dispatcher.
A thorough search of the neighborhood did not turn up the suspect however.
“I’ve been here 20 years, and nothing like this has ever happened before,” said Vargas. She described the incident as “heartbreaking.”
Investigators said the man was dressed in all black and wearing a ski mask.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-782-7463.