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Homestead police issue safety alert for man who exposed himself, tried to kidnap 10-year-old girl

Homestead police issue safety alert after attempted kidnaping of girl
Homestead police issue safety alert after attempted kidnaping of girl 02:46

HOMESTEAD - There's a safety alert in Homestead after, police say, a man exposed himself to a 10-year-old girl and tried to abduct her.

Police say it happened when the victim was walking to a dumpster at the Phoenix apartments to drop off a garbage bag. She noticed a man get out of a car and expose himself. When he tried to grab her, police say, she ran to a nearby playground and tried to hide. They say the suspect took off in his car going westbound on NE 8th Street.

Although the crime happened on May 31, police are appealing for help now because they have been unable to locate him.

They describe him as a black male with a dark complexion and short hair. Police say he is between 40 and 50 years old, between 5'9" and 5'10" tall, and between 150 and 175 pounds.

They released a sketch of him based on the description given to them by the victim.

They also described the suspect's vehicle as cream or beige in color and said it is an older model, a four-door sedan (possibly a Toyota) with multiple items inside.

Police say it is not known if the suspect lives in the area or if he has struck before. But they do not want this to happen again.

Homestead Police spokeswoman, Officer Paula Carballosa, told CBS News Miami's Peter D'Oench she had a message for the community.

She said, "If you witnessed anything please give us a call. The information we receive from the community is an invaluable tool and we have very little to go on. Our biggest concern is what want to make sure the community is aware of the danger out there. It's most important that the community try to help so so we can work together. We are all a team."

She said "We want to urge parents in the community to be cognizant of your surroundings. This is a time when dangers are around. Speak to your children on what to do if they are ever in this type of situation. Fight back. Try to escape. Run away and reach safety and do whatever you can. Scream and bring attention to yourself."

Apartment residents said they had not seen the suspect before.

Jessica Whipple, a mother of five children who has lived at the apartment complex for 6 years, said, "I have little girls myself and I would be terrified if something bad happened to them."

She said she was alarmed by what happened.

"I definitely feel if a child goes outside a parent should watch them and keep watch on kids at all times. This is a dangerous world that we live in and you never know who may be watching. I would say if you know this guy let somebody know. You don't want this to happen to you."

Homestead Police said the child's loved ones were too upset to comment right now.

They say they are still looking for surveillance tape that can help.

If you can help, call Homestead Police at (305) 247-1535 or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).

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