AUSTIN (KXAN) — Authorities are releasing new surveillance video of a man they say tried to lure and kidnap a child in east Austin last month.
Austin police say the suspect went up to the elementary-aged girl at the Booker T. Washington Apartments, located in the 2500 block of Rosewood Avenue, on Sept. 19 around 8:10 p.m. and asked for help finding his lost brown dog. He promised the child money if the child would help him look for it. He then allegedly forced the child into his vehicle, but the child was able to escape within a few minutes.
In the new video, the man can be seen walking through the parking lot and it appears he is on a cellphone.
Police describe the man as muscular, white or Hispanic with short black hair and a bald spot. He’s about 5-foot-5-inches to 5-foot-8-inches and was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, dark blue jean shorts and basketball shoes. His car is a four-door, 2001-2006 Mercury Grand Marquis, described as having a ‘trashy’ interior, according to police.
Tara Taylor lives in the apartment complex with her two daughters. She says she’s had to make sure to her daughters remember to think twice about talking to strangers.
“You talk to your children all the time or your grandchildren all the time and you want them to not speak to strangers,” said Taylor. “But he knew, with a puppy, how to entice a child.”
Anyone with information can call the Austin Police Department Child Abuse Unit at 512-974-6880 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477.