Parents in Peabody, Massachusetts are on edge after police say a man snuck up behind a boy and tried to drag him away in an attempted abduction this week.
The attempted kidnapper remains on the loose as police search for the man responsible for the frightening Tuesday encounter. The incident happened as the 9-year-old boy was walking with his Razor scooter in the area of Swampscott Avenue and Washington Street near William A. Welch Elementary School.
Authorities said the man covered the boy's mouth from behind and dragged him toward some woods near the school. The boy broke free and ran home.
"I hope they find the person," said neighbor Melanie Mason. "We want our kids to be safe on a daily basis. And we don’t want to have to worry about our kids going outdoors."
"It could be my kid," said Marissa Euell. "It's scary."
The man is described as being about 5' 9" tall, according to authorities. He was wearing a red hat or hoodie at the time.
Police suggested that parents teach their children to yell in their loudest voice "stranger" when they are approached and to set up a family code word.
Anyone with information on the attempted kidnapping or who knows of the suspect's whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Peabody Police Department at 978-531-1212.