The Puyallup Police Department is asking for the public’s help as officers investigate an attempted child luring incident that occurred Friday night in the 1300 block of East Pioneer in downtown Puyallup.
A 16-year-old boy reported that about 10 p.m., a man approached him as the teen was walking home from the grocery store and asked the boy to get into the man’s vehicle. The boy refused and began running away. The suspect chased the boy on foot, but the boy got away.
Puyallup Police Capt. Ryan Portmann said Saturday that police do not believe this attempted luring is related to a recent one in Bonney Lake. Portmann said descriptions of the two suspects were different, and the vehicles involved also were different.
Puyallup officers talked to the victim at his home. Here’s what the boy told police:
The teen said that as he approached the intersection of 13th Street Southeast and East Pioneer, he saw a green camper-style van parked on 13th Street Southeast. The van was parked with its lights and ignition off. As the teen walked by, the windows to the van rolled down, and the suspect shouted, “Hey, get in the car now.” The victim told the suspect, “No,” and continued walking.
A few moments later, the boy heard the van start up, so he began to run. The van turned around and began heading toward the victim.
The boy said that as he ran through an alley, he noticed that the suspect had exited the van and appeared to be running after him. The victim ran past several houses in the alley before looking back again. He saw the suspect returning to his van. The boy hid under a vehicle and remained there until the van slowly drove out of the alley.
Police described the Puyallup suspect as male, black, in his late 20s to early 30s, with a blue gauge earring in his ear and a scruffy beard. The boy said the suspect spoke in a high-pitched voice with a slight stutter.
The suspect vehicle was described as a light green camper/conversion van with squiggly striping down the side, dark-tinted windows, shiny rims with Firestone tires and side passenger doors that opened like French doors. The first letter of the license plate was an “A.”
The Puyallup Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit is investigating the incident. Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Puyallup Police Department tip line at 253-770-3343.Debbie Cafazzo: 253-597-8635 debbie.cafazzo@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/education @DebbieCafazzo