SCMPD: Attempted kidnapping victims were teenagers

SCMPD: Attempted kidnapping victims were teenagers

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Savannah Chatham County School District is amping up security after two separate attempted kidnappings happened about a half mile away from Beach High School on Savannah's West side.

WTOC has confirmed that both victims were actually teenagers, 16 and 14 years old. While we don't know if they were students at the high school, we do know the district is beefing up campus security because of how close this happened to the high school.

Police are still searching for a man they believe is responsible for trying to kidnap two teenage girls on separate occasions. The first happened on September 9 and the second happened Monday morning.

In both cases, the teens reported being grabbed from behind by a man wearing something over his face and pulling them into the same alley near Florance Street and West 44th. Luckily both were able to get away after fighting and screaming.

Since these attacks happened about a half mile away from Beach High School and around the same time the kids get to school in the morning, the school district said it will have more campus police patrolling during arrival and dismisall, as well as more staff and school resource officers present during these times.

"Our schools are locked during the day. We have one point of entry through that school, and we have school resource officers and campus police that are going to be there and have a greater presence as well," said Kurt Hetager, spokesman for the district.

And with the man responsible still on the loose, those who work and live in the area said this puts them on edge.

"It's scary. Sometimes we might get here together, or we're coming alone. And who's to say theres nobody hiding on the side of the houses, knowing our pattern and knowing what time we get here in the morning time, so its very scary," said Trian Johnson who worked just a few blocks from where the incident was reported.

"When I go to school in the morning, if we are not standing outside waiting for the bus, then we are in the house," said 15-year-old Leah Jackson, who lives on W. 44th Street near Florance. "Sometimes the bus driver blows the horn for me, but I don't ever come out here by myself, my mom is always with me.You can't even be a kid and be a teenager and have fun stuff, cause you have to worry what's out there. You never know what they are going to do."

With kidnapping stories hitting the national news of late, the Rape Crisis Center in Savannah is urging women to be aware.

"To acknowledge that we don't live in a perfect utopia," said Kesha Gibson-Carter. "We do not live in a city that's free of violence anytime. Therefore it behooves us to be very diligent about how we go and how we come, and for us, not wait for the next headline or the next news story to then decide to be safe."

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