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Police Stress Importance Of Teaching Stranger Danger After Attempted Abduction

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minneapolis police are asking for the public's help in finding a man who tried to abduct a young girl.

It happened at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday on the 4100 block of Chowen Avenue South, just outside the Lake Harriet Lower Elementary School. Police say the man approached the girl after she had wandered away from a group of friends.

As school was getting out Wednesday, parents were on edge, including Megan, a mother of two.

"I think it was really alarming for everybody," Megan said.

She got the email about the incident from the school Tuesday night. The next morning, she had a conversation with her kids on the way to school about what to do if a stranger approached them.

"A grownup will never ask you for help," Megan said. "So if somebody's asking you for help and you don't feel good in your tummy, then you don't talk to them."

Lake Harriet Community School Attempted Abduction
(credit: CBS)

Police encouraged parents to have that discussion at a press conference Wednesday. They also asked for residents in the south Minneapolis neighborhood to come forward with any home surveillance video, as the suspect is still missing.

"Anyone who happens to have a Ring doorbell service with video is asked to review that footage as well," said Minneapolis Police Sgt. Darcy Horn.

According to parents, the school does have after school programs around that time. Police say the girl had been with friends but became separated outside. When the man approached her, he grabbed her

"The juvenile in this incident did everything right. She screamed, she was able to run away, she found a trusted adult and asked that adult to call 911, so have a safety plan with your kids," Horn said.

The suspect is described as a tall, white man who is 50 to 60 years old. He had a thin build and a long, black beard that goes down to his chest. Anyone with information is urged to call 911. Citizens who provide information that leads to an arrest and conviction may be eligible for a financial reward.

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