A Kapolei Elementary School student reported that a stranger with a beard tried to kidnap him this morning as he was walking to school, but he managed to break free after kicking the man.
School Principal Cindy Otsu sent a letter to parents and guardians home with students this afternoon saying the boy was walking near Kaiau Avenue at about 8:10 a.m. when a man “grabbed him by the shoulders from behind and threatened to take him.”
The student kicked the man in the leg and the man fled, she wrote. Otsu said the student was unharmed.
The student reported the incident to school administrators, who reported it to police.
Otsu provided a description in the letter as a slim male, possibly in his 30s, with a beard, wearing a black hoodie, blue jeans and shoes.
“We encourage you to speak to your child about being safe when coming to school and when walking home,” she wrote.
Police received the report shortly before 8:30 a.m. and have classified the case as an attempted kidnapping.
Department of Education spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said she did not have information on the age of the student, but said the school has grades from kindergarten to fifth.
Dela Cruz said the case is unusual in that the suspect was on foot. “Usually reports that we get from students is that there is an individual in a van wanting to coax them over,” she said. “Thenature of this … this seems more aggressive, at least he took initiative to break free so in that sense it is different.
She said the letter to parents was sent to remind their children to always be on the look out and to report any incident immediately to an adult.