Goodyear PD: Girl who reported attempted abduction made it up
Westar Elementary School students leave with their parents or guardians on Friday morning. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Sketch of suspect in Goodyear abduction attempt that turned out to be bogus. (Source: Goodyear Police Department)
The case will be turned over to the juvenile county attorney for review. (Source: CBS 5 News)
GOODYEAR, AZ (CBS5) -
A 12-year-old girl who reported a man attempted to abduct her as she walked to a Goodyear school on Friday fabricated the entire story, police officials said this week.
Although the girl gave police a complete description of a person and a white van allegedly seen in the area, the girl now admits the incident never happened, officers said Tuesday.
The student originally told police the incident happened at about 7:30 a.m. as she walked to Westar Elementary School.
The seventh-grader erroneously told police a man in an older model, white van with black molding on the doors asked her if she needed a ride in the area of Westar and 180th drives.
When she said "no," the girl claimed he grabbed her arm and tried to pull her off of the sidewalk.
The girl maintained she was able to break away and run to a teacher at a nearby school crosswalk.
Liberty Elementary School District Superintendent Andy Rogers told CBS 5 News the school was put on temporary lockdown as officials conducted a count of its students.
The girl gave police a complete description of a man she said was in his early 50s with balding, blondish-gray hair, a mustache and goatee. She said he was about 6' tall and tan, with a pot belly. The girl said he was wearing smaller rimmed glasses, a light blue T-shirt, khaki-colored pants and possibly brown shoes.
Police then drew a composite sketch of the suspect and distributed it to the media.
All of that information turned out to be fabricated, Goodyear police said Tuesday.
Friday's incident rattled parents.
"I was frightened," said Lilani James, whose two sons attend Westar Elementary School. "Tears started coming down my eyes. I just couldn't believe it hit so close to home."
To ensure student safety, the school even canceled a 5-K Fun Run and the eighth-grade dance was postponed until Friday, May 17.
The case will now be turned over to a juvenile county attorney for determination of possible charges.
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