Cherokee man reports abduction attempt

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Law enforcement, area schools on alert

Authorities are investigating a report of a possible abduction attempt about 11 a.m. Thursday of a young male in his early 20s near Central Park on Cherokee's West Bluff Street.

According to reports, the man said he was approached by a middle-age male with gray hair driving a silver mini-van who persistently tried to get him to get in the his vehicle.

Cherokee Police Chief Steve Schuck said his department and other area law enforcement were alerted and officers were trying to locate the vehicle in question. Schuck also contacted Cherokee School District Superintendent Dr. John Chalstrom and explained the situation to him.

Chalstrom said Cherokee schools would not be dismissing early or locking down because of the reports, adding that extra vigilance at all schools - Washington High, Cherokee Middle School, Roosevelt Elementary, and ECLC would be conducted when the schools let out.

"We'll use school staff to monitor the situation," explained Chalstrom. "We are vigilant and monitor and look out for such things every day. To our knowledge, no Cherokee students were ever in any danger. Chalstrom said that he, too, would be monitoring the school parking lots Thursday when school let out.

Alta-Aurelia Superintendent Lynn Evans sent out an e-mail about the reported abduction attempt and "as a precautionary measure" said that a Cherokee County Deputy would be in Aurelia the rest of the day Thursday and at the school at dismissal time.

"Supervision will be increased after school (Aurelia and Alta) for the remainder of the week, possibly beyond," said Evans, who encouraged parents wanting to pick up their child instead of them walking home to please do so.

According to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department, deputies were immediately dispatched to area schools to inform school officials of the reported abduction attempt.

Also, police officers in Aurelia and Marcus started their work days early Thursday to patrol their communities.

Chief Schuck said his department was patrolling the city throughout the day - some in their private vehicles so as not to be detected - and would continue to do so indefinitely.

According to authorities, the alleged victim waited about 45 minutes after the alleged incident before notifying his boss and contacting law enforcement.

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