SOUTH SALT LAKE — Police are asking for the public's help in finding a man who may have tried to abduct a 7-year-old girl on her way to school.
Two boys and two girls — siblings between the ages of 7 and 12 — were walking to school along Main Street near 2685 South just after 8 a.m. Monday, when a man put his hand on the shoulder of one of the girls, said South Salt Lake police detective Gary Keller.
The man started to pull the girl behind a business, when he spotted a nearby police car, Keller said. The police vehicle apparently caused the man to let go of the girl and continue walking as if nothing had happened, he said.
Surveillance video from the area shows Kiera, her sister and her two brothers walking to class. One goes ahead as the others follow off camera: that' when they said a man reached out and tried to pull Kiera.
"I kicked him," Kiera said.
The children did not report the incident until they returned home from school and told their parents.
"They came home from school and said a guy got a hold of Kiera's jacket and started pulling on it," said Michelle Roberts, Kiera's mother.
"I don't know how to feel ... a little confused as to why somebody would want to do that," said Aaron Roberts, Kiera's father.
Michelle Roberts immediately called police.
Investigators are hoping now the public will help them identify the man.
The suspect is described as having a darker complexion, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, 180 pounds, between 20 and 40 years old and having "scruffy facial hair." He was last seen wearing a dark hooded coat with the hood up, dark pants, black boots and was carrying a black backpack. Police said his clothes also appeared to be dirty.
Anyone with information can call police at 801-840-4000.