Police Beef Up Patrols Around School After Kidnap Try

A girl fended off a man by biting him when he tried to grab her on an elementary school campus during an afterschool program

Police beefed up patrols around a North Hollywood elementary school on Thursday, a day after a 10-year-old girl fended off a would-be kidnapper by biting him and alerting school officials.

The girl, who was not hurt, was with two friends in the playground when a man came up from behind, grabbed her waist and covered her mouth, Los Angeles police spokeswoman Wendy Reyes said.

The incident happened just before 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Coldwater Canyon Elementary School, 6850 Coldwater Canyon Avenue, Reyes said.

The man was described only as having grayish black, curly hair and brown shoes.

On Thursday, police patrolled around the school as angry parents complained that they only learned of the attack through letters sent home by students.

By mid morning on Thursday, robo calls went out explaining the situation and some parents attended an impromptu meeting with the school's staff where they could ask questions.

“That really disturbs the heck out of me that it happened at the afterschool program,” said Michael Nikachi, whose nephew attends the school.

Added Nick Carthan, whose child attends the school: “They should send out a newsletter to parents to let them know what's going on.”

Artak Kajcajtayn, whose daughter attends the school, sympathized with the girl’s parents and students.

“I felt so sad and I felt bad for the parents and for the kids,” he said.

Officials for LA's Best, which oversees the afterschool program at Coldwater, said the program had adequate staffing at the time, which calls for a 1-to-20 ratio of supervisors to students.

It wasn’t clear how the man got onto campus and made the kidnap attempt while there were more than 100 other students around.

North Hollywood police detectives asked anyone with any information regarding the kidnapping attempt to call them at (818) 623-4016.

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