Indio police now say a man suspected of trying to abduct a student near Indio High School on Tuesday did not try to kidnap her. However, there is a "strong possibility that an assault did occur" said Indio Police Commander Hank Peeters. A possible suspect has been identified, but he has not been connected to any attempted abduction, and the case is not related to a first attempted abduction case from the same area on May 13.
According to Peeters, "The Indio Police Department is no longer actively looking for a suspect or suspect vehicle originally reported by the victim on May 21, 2013 and are diligently attempting to bring this case to a successful conclusion with the appropriate criminal charges, if any."
An Indio High School student was able to fight off a would-be kidnapper Tuesday morning in the second attempt of its kind in the last two weeks.
The girl was walking in the area of De Plata Avenue and Aladdin Street about 8:10 a.m. when a man in a red, two-door vehicle tried talking to her, then got out of his car and tried to physically restrain her, police said.
The girl was able to fight him off and run away and a passerby took her to school. She sustained minor injuries, police said.
The suspect was described as a man in his late 20s to early 30s, about 6 feet 2 inches tall, 160 pounds, wearing a gray tank top with the letter "D", possibly indicating an Arizona Diamondbacks emblem.
He also wore red basketball-style gym shorts, a white baseball cap and sunglasses. He had a multi-colored tribal band style tattoo on his left upper arm and full sleeve tattoos on his right arm.
He also had a full beard and pierced eyebrows.
This incident does not appear to be connected to the attempted kidnapping that happened in the same area about a week ago.
Police have increased their visibility around the school in response to the kidnapping attempt. Anyone with information about the kidnapping attempt was asked to call Indio police at (760) 391-4057.