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(TRINIDAD NEWSDAY) – A POINT Fortin man who attempted to kidnap a ten-year old student of Fanny Village Government Primary School on Wednesday morning is now in police custody.
Police have also impounded his black van which was used in the botched abduction.
Vigilant parents of students attending the primary school are being praised for their alertness in foiling the plans of the would-be kidnapper.
Reports indicate that around 8 am on Wednesday the female student was walking along the Cap-de-Ville, Point Fortin road near to the school, when a black Nissan van driven by a man pulled alongside her.
The man opened the door and invited her to come in. She refused and he attempted to drag her into the vehicle.
Alert parents who had just dropped of their children and were still milling around the school observed what was happening and pulled the child away from the vehicle. The man drove away.
Point Fortin police was alerted and WPC Rouse along with other officers responded and interviewed the child and her mother. The latter had also been contacted.
Footage from nearby CCTV cameras was recovered resulting in the arrest of a 23-year old suspect of Cap-de-Ville. His vehicle was also impounded.
A message was immediately circulated via What’s App warning other principals in the district to be aware that the driver attempted to kidnap the student.
“Thankfully she was rescued by some alert parents who were able to grab her out of the van,” the message read.
The sender also indicated, “The matter is in the hands of the police. Please let your students know not to accept lifts from any strangers because he was offering her a lift and she refused so he attempted to drag her into the van.”
The incident has been reported to the Ministry of Education which has launched its own investigation.
Welfare Officer of the NPTA St Patrick Division Daniel George Jr said plans were being made immediately to collaborate with the major stakeholders, including the police service and to bring awareness to parents and students.
Second vice president of the TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) Kyrla Robertson-Thomas advanced, “We have to be our brother’s keepers.”
Robertson-Thomas said she is not certain whether the abduction was specific to the particular child or if it was a case of the person just looking for vulnerable children on their way to school.
“We have to continue to guide and give children certain protocols if they have to walk to school to walk on the inner side of the pavement. To let them know not engage with the public, to be helpful, stop to give directions to fall victim to predators.
“From time to time we hear of people flashing their private parts to children. Point Fortin is a country area and children may not be as guarded as inner-city children so we have to continue to have these discussions so they can keep their guard up all the time.
“I am glad the other parents were vigilant enough to see and do something about it. We have to be our brothers keepers,” she said.
Investigations are continuing.