Wasco Tribune - Serving the community since 1970

By Toni DeRosa
Wasco Tribune 

Boy, 12, evade kidnap attempt


A 12-year-old Thomas Jefferson Middle School student narrowly escaped being kidnapped recently, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.

On April 12, the boy’s mother asked him to go across the street to his aunt’s house near the corner of 7th Street and Redwood. Fortunately, his parents had taught him what to do if he was approached by a stranger. He didn’t think it would ever actually happen, but when it did, he said, it was scarier than he ever imagined.

A man wearing a dark baseball cap and sunglasses and driving an older model older gray 4-door Honda approached and ordered the boy to get into his car. The boy immediately ran and began screaming. His mother said that according to her son, the man appeared to be Hispanic and was bilingual.

That was not the end of it, however. The man got out of the car and began chasing the youth, who ran into his grandmother’s house. He ran through the front door, out the back door, and then into the back door of his own house. The man didn’t follow him into his grandmother’s house.

In the kitchen, the boy, visibly shaken, began telling his mother what had just happened. His mother then called the Wasco sheriff’s substation.

Police Sergeant Augustin Moreno arrived at the boy’s house, where his mother said the officer was a calming influence for her son.

“He was very patient and understanding,” the mother said of the officer. “He was so great. I couldn’t have gotten anyone better to help with this situation.” Sergeant Moreno even bent down so he and the boy could see eye to eye.

Still, the mother was distraught over the incident. If anything had happened to her son, she said, “It would have been my fault.”

"The adult male has not been identified," Sgt. Moreno said. "Anyone with information regarding this investigation (2019-00058636) is requested to contact the Sheriff's Office at(661-861-3110 or Secret Witness at 661-322-4040.

[This story was updated from the print version on May 2, 2019.]


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