Police investigating 'person of interest' in attempted kidnapping
Benton police are investigating a "person of interest" in an attempted kidnapping of a teenage girl.
That person was interviewed Tuesday and a truck matching the description of one involved in the incident was parked at the Benton Police Department.
A witness not only saw the incident, but he also stepped in to stop the situation.
"Right place, right time," said the witness, who only wishes to be known by his biker name - "Mad Man". He is a part of Bikers Against Child Abuse, a group that exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children.
He says he saw a 16-year-old girl in an altercation with a man on the corner of South and Main streets. The witness said something just didn't look right.
"The look on her face, she was terrified. The guy was yelling Spanish stuff, trying to push her into the truck," he said.
That's when "Mad Man" stepped in.
"It just looked funny to me. I stopped in the middle of traffic, I jumped out and asked her if she was okay. She shook her head no and that's when I got involved," he said.
He says he made sure the girl was safe and then called police.
"While I was doing this, the guy in the truck fled," he said.
The witness and victim reported the description of the truck as being a Chevrolet S-10 truck with a blue or purple top and red bottom. Police say they're interviewing a person of interest, thanks to the vigilance of this citizen.
"It's quite possible just from him approaching and making noise and drawing attention to the situation that was enough to scare the suspect away," said Lt. Kevin Russell of the Benton Police Department.
Russell said no charges have been filed yet.
ORIGINAL REPORT (11:49 p.m):
A Benton teenager says a man tried to kidnap her Monday. Police say the incident occurred Monday morning around 9:40 in the area of South and Main streets.
According to the 16-year-old girl, a Hispanic male got out of a vehicle and approached her while she was walking on the sidewalk.
She said he opened the passenger door of his truck and tried to get her to get in with him. The victim told him no and he got back into his truck and again tried unsuccessfully to get her to get in with him before driving off.
She said the suspect was speaking in Spanish while motioning for her to get in, but she didn't understand him.
A witness in the area also observed the incident. He stopped and started yelling at the suspect who then drove off.
The suspect vehicle is described as a single cab Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck with the upper portion painted purple or dark blue, and the lower portion painted red.
Officers conducted a search of the area and information was sent out to surrounding agencies in an attempt to locate the suspect.
Detectives are diligently working on this case, but anybody with information is encouraged to contact the Benton Police Department at 501-778-1171 or 501-315-TIPS. Anonymous crime tip about this incident can be sent via text message to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text or go to www.crimereports.com to leave a tip.