“Child annoyance” investigated near La Puente elementary school

LA PUENTE — An incident initially reported as an attempted kidnapping of a young girl from outside an elementary school Friday was ultimately investigated as an incident of “child annoyance,” authorities said.
Sheriff’s deputies raced to Yorbita Elementary School, 520 Vidalia Avenue, about 1:20 p.m. after the girl ran to the school office to report a frightening encounter with a man in a can parked in front of the school.
“A 12-year-old girl was walking to the elementary school to pick up her brother,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John McBride said.
She spotted a Latino man sitting in a white Ford Windstar minivan with some sort of cage on the interior who called out to her in Spanish to, “come here,'” he said.
The girl became frightened and ran to the school office, McBride said.
When officials went to find the man in the white van, he was gone, the lieutenant added. The van was last seen headed west on Jeannie Drive. A further description of the man was not available.
Though deputies initially responded to the call as a possible abduction attempt, McBride said, that did not appear to be the case after investigation.
“We’re going to write a child annoyance (report) to document it,” he said.
He added that the man in the van never got out of his van or made any physical attempt to abduct the girl.
“It doesn’t look like an attempted kidnapping,” he said.
As with any incident involving a threat to a child, however, the incident is being taken seriously, McBride said.
“I don’t want to minimize this at all,” he said.
Deputies saturated the neighborhood following the incident.
Yorbita Elementary School Principal Erika Krohn said she was pleased with the speedy police response and the actions of the girl.
“She ran to the school, which is just what we want our kids to do,” she said. “She was upset, but she handled it very well.”
The principal added, “We are just glad everyone’s safe.”

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