Indio police still searching for attempted kidnapping suspect

INDIO, Calif. - Police in Indio were on the lookout Tuesday for a man who tried to kidnap an Indio High School senior as she walked to school.

The attempted kidnapping was reported about 9:45 a.m. Monday, around an hour after it happened.

The girl, whose name was withheld, told police she was walking south on Aladdin Street from Shadow Palm Avenue and noticed a beige Ford Expedition following her, said Indio Police Department spokesman Ben Guitron.

She said the driver pulled over and asked if she needed a ride, but she ignored him and kept walking. He then made a U-turn, stopped next to her, got out and reached for her arm, saying, "Just get into the vehicle," Guitron said.

The student said she pushed the man away, and he walked back to the SUV. She continued to walk to school, and the man followed her in the SUV until she got to the campus, where she called one of her parents and told school officials, Guitron said.

He said the girl didn't know the suspect, who she described as Hispanic, about 30 years old, with a dark mustache and goatee, about 5 feet 9 and 220 pounds, wearing a dark shirt and blue jeans.

Guitron said police and Desert Sands Unified School District officials have stepped up security around the school.

Anyone with information on the suspect was asked to call police at (760) 391-4057 or Coachella Valley Crime Stoppers at (760) 341-7867.

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