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Police say Centerville boy fought off would-be kidnapper

CENTERVILLE – Police have boosted their patrols after a 12-year old boy claims a stranger tried to kidnap him.  They hope the public can help them track down their suspect.

Investigators say it happened at a crosswalk near 400 West and 1700 North when the boy was walking home from a cousin’s house.  His mother, Tinisha Jensen says the suspect offered her son some candy, but, when the boy refused, the suspect got violent.

“He had my son by the collar and was turning to walk back toward his car, pulling my son toward the car,” Jensen says.

She adds that her son punched the suspect in the face, which knocked him to his knees.  Then, the boy reportedly ran to a nearby park and hid behind a boulder until the suspect left.  Centerville Police Sergeant Allen Ackerson says the victim was able to remember key details about the man who tried to take him.

“He did take notice of important things that are very distinctive like the suspect had some sort of a neck tattoo,” Ackerson says.

The man is described as a white male in his 30s with blond hair, possibly driving an older blue four-door sedan.  Investigators hope there is surveillance video of the attempted kidnapping.

Ackerson says, “[We’re checking] with homes in the area with the doorbell cameras that are really prevalent.  We’re also in communication with the schools to see if they have any cameras in the area.”

Since this happened, Jensen says it appears a lot of parents are talking with their kids about stranger danger.

“We did notice a strong police presence when my husband and I walked my son to school this morning.  There were a lot of parents walking their kids,” she says.