WILKES-BARRE — The boy targeted in an attempted abduction over the weekend was alone at the time and also had been involved in a 2007 case, said his mother.
The woman, who asked not to be identified for fear the person who grabbed the boy is still on the loose, spoke Wednesday to dispel rumors after talking with her 8-year-old son. She was uncertain if the latest case was related to the previous one that occurred outside her residence in a different location in the city.
“I don’t know who this person is. Being he had on a mask, it makes it even harder,” she said.
The man in the prior case pleaded guilty to interference with custody of children and resisting arrest and was sentenced in May 2008 to time served and one year probation. He did not have contact with the boy, who was 2 at the time, but gestured to him to come near.
The woman who lives in South Wilkes-Barre said the boy had gone to play at Miner Park with his 12-year-old brother and 14-year-old cousin Saturday. It was a nice day and she told her older son to take his little brother to play on the swings and sliding board.
The younger son walked toward Kistler Elementary School on Old River Road while the others were on the adjacent field around 7 p.m. That’s when, she said, someone came up from behind him, picked the boy up and told him that he was going to take him.
“He was trying to put him on his back. He screamed and kicked him, and he dropped him,” the woman said. The boy fell to the concrete and scraped his chin.
It was still light out at the time, but the boy was able to see only that the person who grabbed him was white. His brother and cousin gave chase on Corlear Street.
“He had on a ski mask,” the woman said.
The woman said she rushed to the school after her sister called to say someone tried to take her son. The boys called her sister earlier to say they were on their way home, but they did not arrive. The woman said she and her sister thought the delay was because the boys were walking slowly.
The woman said she thinks a neighbor called police, who were on the scene when she arrived. She has been in contact with them and spoke to a detective on Tuesday.
The boy has had nightmares and was kept out of school after the attempted abduction, the mother said. “There’s not one doubt in my mind my son is not lying,” she said.
The woman said she wants to attend the next City Council meeting on April 11 to address her concerns about child safety.
The investigating detective could not be reached for comment.