Young victim taken from Webster park, likely assaulted in Connecticut
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WEBSTER — Local police are seeking the public’s help as they investigate an alleged kidnapping and possible sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl late last week.
After initially reporting the Friday, May 31 incident last week, Webster Police Chief Michael Shaw held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to provide more information and enlist the help of the general public in photographic or video evidence that may help law enforcement in their investigation.
“This is a challenging investigation, just given the nature of the incident itself and the age of the victim, so officers and detectives are out there doing some good work, trying to gather up a lot of information to sort through, so we are looking for any help the public can give us,” Shaw told reporters. “If anybody has any information or might have seen something at the May Street Park, we ask them to come forward.”
Anyone with information, particularly surveillance video or still photos from the area of May Street Park from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 31, is asked to contact the Webster Police Department at 508-943-1212 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Police are also seeking surveillance video or still photos of Lake Parkway and/or Thompson Road from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 31.
“We have a lot of surveillance video that we’ve been going through, so right now any surveillance video is helpful because we have so much to go through,” Shaw added.
The chief noted the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault is an unusual circumstance locally.
“In my 23 years, this is the first type of incident like this that we’ve had,” he said.
Shaw said the victim and her family are “doing as well as can be expected given the circumstances.”
“Having children myself, I can only imagine what they’re feeling,” he added. “They’re horrified that it happened, but at the same time I think they also feel very lucky it didn’t end up worse.”
Victim “enticed … under the guise of needing help with a friend”
Shaw said the 12-year-old female victim rode her bicycle to May Street Park to meet a friend on Friday when she was approached by an unknown caucasian male in a car. Shaw said the man, described by police last week as roughly 5’10” and “scruffy,” reportedly “enticed” the girl to go with him “under the guise of needing help with a friend.” The girl was then taken to a location law enforcement believes to be over the state line in Connecticut, and allegedly sexually assaulted before being dropped off in the neighborhood of Chase Avenue in Dudley. Shaw said it was then that the “horrified” young girl ran to a home in the neighborhood to contact her mother.
“I’m glad that she found the people that she did find that helped her and get her in touch with her parents,” Shaw said.
The suspect’s vehicle was described as a black, two-door car with a long hood and light interior. Police elaborated further on the suspect’s appearance on Tuesday, asserting he has blonde hair and a “skinny face” with light facial hair growth at the time of the incident.
“No one is probably going to sleep great at night until we get this person in custody, and I’m confident we will,” Shaw said.
Detectives from the Webster Police Department are working in conjunction with the Connecticut State Police and the District Attorney’s Office. Shaw said there has been “great cooperation” on a daily basis from Connecticut State Police.
Police noted the incident serves as a reminder of how important it is for parents and children to talk about stranger danger.
“It’s important for parents to have that dialogue with their children about when they go to places, when they’re not with an adult, how to act, what to do if they’re approached by a stranger,” Shaw said. “Have that conversation and make sure that they have the knowledge of where their children are at all times.”