LAKEWOOD, Colo. – A Lakewood man says he’s worried after someone tried to kidnap his 12-year-old son after he got off the bus Tuesday afternoon.
Mike Houtz tells Denver7 that a man pulled up near his son’s bus stop in the 1500 block of West Iliff, in the Solterra neighborhood, around 2:30 p.m. and told the boy to get into his car. The boy ran off and called police.
"A car approached him from behind and offered him a ride. He said, 'No, I'm good.' He said, 'You look pretty cold,' and [the son] said, 'No, I live around the corner. I'm fine,'" recalled Houtz. "The guy swore at him...and told him to get in the car. He started to reach for the door, and that's where my son took off and started to run to the house."
The boy was on his way home from Dunstan Middle School. JeffCo Public Schools sent a letter home to parents Wednesday explaining the incident. Houtz said his son told him that there were no other kids around, and that it seemed like an opportune moment.
The letter from the school said the student described the suspect’s vehicle as a black or dark blue four-door sedan with faded or chipped paint. The suspect was described as a light-skinned man with a bushy, full, dark-colored beard, and a black hoodie that was partially covering his eyes.
“Even though this took place after school hours, off school property, and is a law enforcement issue, we thought this would be a good opportunity to remind you to talk with your child about safety,” the letter home to parents said. “Remind your child to always walk with a friend, and be aware of his/her surroundings. Talk to your child about what to do if a stranger approaches: yell or shout, run away, and immediately tell an adult. Impress upon your child the importance of going straight to school in the morning and coming home immediately after dismissal.”
The letter continues: “Student safety is always our top priority. If your child sees anything suspicious around the neighborhood or school, report it immediately to law enforcement and notify the school. We all appreciate our parent community keeping us informed of incidents that occur outside of the school day. Together we can help protect the well-being of our children.”
The school says JeffCo safety and security, and local law enforcement, are investigating the alleged attempted kidnapping.
Lakewood police say they are investigating the incident, and ask anyone with information to call 303-987-7111.