Sketch released of alleged attempted kidnapper in Gaithersburg -- Gazette.Net


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This story was updated at 4:40 p.m. on April 25, 2013.

Gaithersburg Police have released a composite sketch of a suspect in an attempted kidnapping that took place earlier this week.

On Monday, a Gaithersburg teenager fought off a man who was trying to abduct him, city police say.

The attempted kidnapping took place just before 7 p.m. on Midsummer Drive in the Washingtonian Woods neighborhood.

The victim, a 14-year-old boy, was jogging on the sidewalk of Midsummer Drive when a man he did not know got out of a white van with an “extremely tinted” passenger window and grabbed the boy’s arm, according to a statement from Gaithersburg police.

The man then tried to pull the boy into the van, but the boy pushed the man away and ran away from him, according to Gaithersburg Police Officer Dan Lane.

The would-be kidnapper got back in his van and drove away toward Muddy Branch Road according to the report.

“It’s still under investigation,” Lane said on Tuesday.

Police say they are looking for a muscular man around 6 feet tall, weighing about 200 pounds, who has brown eyes, short black hair, a goatee, and sideburns that go to the middle of his ears.

He was last seen wearing a white crew-neck T-shirt with three-quarter-length sleeves, white pants and tan boots.

Police say they are looking for a white “square style” van similar to a delivery or painter van, possibly a Ford or Chevy, with red trim along the top.

“That description matches vans we see every day,” said Claudine Rubin, a neighborhood resident. “Every day, there are workmen here.”

“I’m always concerned with random strangers working at people’s homes,” she said.

Rubin said the attack took place just behind her house. She and her children were inside when it took place.

“The news spread like wildfire through the neighborhood,” she said. “It just seems unbelievable that would happen here.”

Rubin, who has lived in Washingtonian Woods for the last 10 years, has an 8-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old daughter who is about to start middle school next year.

She and her husband have been trying to be more lenient about giving their 11-year-old more freedom to go biking around the neighborhood, she said.

But after Monday’s incident, they had to talk to her, she said. “In the back of my mind, that’s why I didn’t want my kids playing at the playground alone,” she said.

“We just don’t know who’s around. It’s not that we don’t trust her. It’s that we don’t trust strangers,” Rubin said. “Most strangers were nice, but these guys were not.”

Tami Mensh, another longtime neighborhood resident, said the incident was unlike other crimes that have taken place there.

“We’ve had car break-ins and things like that — but nothing that endangered one of our people, our neighbors,” Mensh said.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about this attempted kidnapping or the suspect involved to contact the Gaithersburg Police Investigations Section at 301-258-6400. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or the Gaithersburg Police Tip Line at 301-330-4471. Crimes Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided that leads to an arrest and/or indictment for this felony crime.

sjbsmith@gazette.net