10-year-old girl reports attempted abduction; Tooele police investigating

Posted at 9:16 AM, Feb 15, 2016

TOOELE, Utah - Officers are investigating an attempted abduction in Tooele after a 10-year-old girl said a man grabbed her but she was able to get away.

On Feb. 10 at about 5 p.m., the girl told police she was walking home from a friend’s house near England Acres Park at 520 East and 1000 North when a man grabbed her arm.

She said another man stood by smoking.

The girl told officers she was able break free from the man holding her and neither of the men chased her.

"That is concerning," said nearby resident Jenn Howden, whose house nearly borders the park. "Especially, it's just right there. And it makes me know that I need to be more aware."

Howden said the area is relatively safe. While she said she teaches her two kids about safety, the incident will prompt her to talk with them again -- especially her 9-year-old daughter.

"I'll probably have a talk with her now, a more in-depth talk," Howden said. "Just say, 'OK, if this comes up, then this is how you're going to react.'"

Both men are described as African American and about 6 feet tall.

Police said the girl reported they were wearing white sweatshirts, white sweatpants and a black and gray striped beanie-style hats.

The girl told police the second man who was smoking had a mustache and small black earrings.

Officers say this is incident is being handled by the Investigations Division and they are asking anyone who may have any additional information to contact them at 435-882-5600.

Authorities also encourage parents to speak with their children about the importance of safety while walking to and from home.

Here are some tips from police to get the conversation started:

-Walk with someone. Use the “buddy system.”

-Pick a route and stick to that route, both to and from home.

-Never take rides from people unless arranged by parents.

-Look for traffic and be seen by traffic by wearing bright clothes or carrying a flashlight.

-Report any suspicious activity to Tooele County Dispatch at (435) 882-5600.