South Carolina

Cops: Witness saw suspect, 2 girls in Rock Hill attempted abduction after school bus

A witness saw an interaction between a man and two elementary school girls Tuesday before the girls told police a man tried to abduct them after they got off the school bus, police said.

Police said they have not identified a suspect and have made no arrests.

Rock Hill Police Department Lt. Michael Chavis said in a written statement Thursday afternoon that after information about the reported attempted abduction was released to the media Wednesday, police received tips from the public.

The two girls reported to police Tuesday after 4 p.m. that a man tried to grab them in the 700 blocks of Patriot Parkway after they got off the school bus, The Herald reported Wednesday morning. Patriot Parkway connects with Cherry Road and Eden Terrace.

“From these tips, information was obtained that an incident was witnessed between the black male suspect and the two juveniles,” Chavis said in the statement. “We are still working to identify the suspect and determine all the facts surrounding the interaction between the suspect and juveniles.”

Police have not released who the witness is, or what the witness told Rock Hill officers.

Officers also have not released how many tips came in, or if surveillance video from nearby businesses and apartments has helped the investigation.

The girls told officers an SUV circled the area after they got off the school bus, according to a police incident report. A man then got out of the SUV and grabbed one of a girl’s book bag, the report stated. The man asked the children to go with him to a nearby park, according to Chavis and the report.

The children ran after the man let go of the book bag, Chavis said. An adult called the police.

On Wednesday, police described the suspect as a black man, age 60 or older, with slick black and gray hair with curls at the back. He may be been wearing a uniform, Chavis said. The girls told police the man had on a black collared shirt with a logo on the front, khaki pants and Nike shoes.

With new information Thursday, police also described the suspect as around 5 feet, 5 inches tall, weighing about 200 pounds.

The case remains under investigation, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police department criminal investigation division at 803-329-7293.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.
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