ARDMORE, OK -- A quiet neighborhood is still in shock Monday after police say a little girl was nearly abducted only feet from her home. Now authorities are telling parents they need to talk to their children about strangers, as the man who tried to abduct the little girl is still on the streets. Daniel Armbruster has more.
Ardmore Police say a 10-year-old girl was riding her bike near her home Thursday evening when a man approached her and asked her to get into his car. Now a seemingly quiet neighborhood is on edge.
The 500 block of H Street Southwest in Ardmore is described by residents as peaceful and a great place to raise children. But since last Thursday evening some residents have become concerned that their small neighborhood may no longer be the safe place they one believed.
Amy Tibbs has raised two children in this neighborhood. Tibbs says she and others are uneasy after her next door neighbor's 10-year old daughter was nearly abducted.
"I think it's very sad that as parents we have to teach our children that, and that we can't let them play in the neighborhood and have a good time without scaring them and being scared of being outside," Tibbs said.
"Very scared. It frightened me quite a bit."
Kerri Lowe is a counselor at Charles Evans Elementary School. She and Ardmore police say parents must talk to their children about strangers.
"You need to review scenarios of what might happen. Well what would you do if someone approached you if you're walking home from school and tried to give you candy? Who would you go to? Who's a safe person? Where's a safe place to go? Have good procedures if your kids are walking back and forth or if they're playing in your neighborhood," Lowe says.
Lowe says parents need to also make sure to keep records updated at the child's school of who is allowed to pick up the child. If they have questions there are several online resources such as safechild.org.
As a mother, Lowe also says parents should not only prepare their kids for these scenarios in their neighborhoods but at places like the grocery store as well. She explains she what tells her 7-year old daughter.
"When I took her to Wal-Mart we always knew that if she got lost from me and she wandered down an aisle like kids do a lot of times, then we would go up to the front desk and talk to a Wal-Mart clerk."
As for Tibbs she says it worries her that the man who tried to abduct the little girl is still on the streets.
"It makes me very uneasy."
Ardmore Police say the only description the little girl could provide is that the man was light skinned. They say it was the skills her parents taught her about strangers that possibly saved her life, because she refused the man's invitation to get into his car and immediately ran home.