Person of interest questioned in attempted abduction case

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - July 19, 2012

Special Victims investigators are interviewing that person, who they say matches the description of the male caught on surveillance video.

No formal charges have been filed at this time as the investigation continues.

Chilling surveillance video captured the attempted abduction. Hours after that video was released by police, the girl's mother spoke exclusively to Action News.

Action News is not identifying the mother to protect her daughter's identity.

"Other than really scared, I mean she's mentally stressed out, but physically she's doing ok," the mother said of her daughter's condition.

That video of the Tuesday afternoon incident was released at a news conference on Wednesday. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said he's never seen a video like it.

"Our children must be able to walk around their own neighborhood without lowlifes like this individual coming up and grabbing them, touching them, or doing anything else. It's completely unacceptable, totally outrageous, we need the public's help," Nutter said.

VIDEO: Surveillance video released of attempted kidnapping

At the same news conference, a $10,000 reward was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

The surveillance video shows the 10-year-old girl, with her 2-year-old brother, walking home from a store at 3:48 p.m. Tuesday. The video shows an unknown male following them in an older 4-door white vehicle.

The male then parked his vehicle on the corner of Porter and Lee streets, exited the vehicle, and followed the children onto Lee Street.

Video from another camera actually shows the suspect grabbing the child and attempting to carry her away, but she bit him causing him to drop her.

He then tried again, but the girl fought as her brother screamed. The man eventually let the child go and ran off. Officials say the suspect then fled in his vehicle east on Porter Street.

The child's mother says one phrase constantly went through her mind when watching the video: "Oh my God."

"I just thought I don't know many kids can do that. I just thought how strong she was and I was just thankful that she was that strong," the mother said.

She's grateful that she and her daughter's father had talked to her often about these types of incidents and showed her online videos on what to do.

"We watched it all the time, it's 'Stranger-Danger', it's a really good video, it teaches them what to do, how to respond to things like that and she put it all together and it worked. Thank God it worked," the mother said.

The suspect is described as an Hispanic male, 5'9" to 6' tall, medium complexion, thin build, 30-40 years of age, with a thin moustache and short black curly hair. He was wearing a black short sleeve T-shirt and blue pants.

His vehicle is described as a late 1990's to early 2000's white mid-sized foreign 4-door car, possibly a Mitsubishi or Nissan, with a black scuff mark on the driver's side rear bumper and a dent on the left front fender wheel well.

"We need someone to step up and give us the information so we can arrest this person, get this dangerous decrepit person off the streets of this city," Nutter said.

Anyone who sees the suspect or the vehicle is asked to call 911 or contact the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251.

You can also submit a tip through their website at www.phillypolice.com.

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