UPDATE: Azusa Police Department determined this attempted kidnapping did not take place as reported. The update can be read here.
An 11-year-old boy narrowly escaped an attempted kidnapping in Azusa over the holiday weekend, police said Monday.
The child was riding his bicycle home about 9 p.m. Monday from a family event at Northside Park when a dark, older model van stopped in front of him in the 300 block of N. San Gabriel Avenue, according to a statement from the Azusa Police Department.
One person remained in the driver’s seat of the van while a passenger got out, grabbed the boy from behind and pulled him toward the van. The boy struggled and was able to get away unharmed.
"It was just really shocking to hear that this happened right in front of where I live," said area resident Daniel Lopez.
The would-be kidnapper returned to the van and the two suspects fled southbound on San Gabriel Avenue from Third Street. Police were called just after 9 p.m.
The man who grabbed the boy is described as between 20 and 40 years old with a shaved head, short sideburns, a moustache and a goatee. He was wearing dark clothing.
Police canvassed the neighborhood Tuesday morning, looking for any possible witnesses and anyone who may have surveillance video to share with investigators.
"We would encourage everybody, especially with kids being back in school now, to have a conversation with their kids about being aware of their surroundings, being aware of strangers that may approach them and to have a plan as to how to react if something like that were to take place," said Lt. Mike Bertelsen of the Azusa Police Department.
Detectives said they ma release a sketch of the suspect soon.
Anyone with information is asked to call Azusa Police Department at 626-812-3200.