Child recounts abduction attempt in Phoenix neighborhood


by Tanya Mendis

Bio | Email | Follow: @tanyamendis

Posted on February 21, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 21 at 6:40 PM

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PHOENIX -- An 11-year-old girl says she was the latest victim in a string of abduction attempts in a west Phoenix neighborhood.

Neida Aguilar said she was riding her scooter home from a friend’s house along 31st Avenue near McDowell Road when she noticed a white van following her.

Neida said the van then cut her off and blocked her path home.

"It just cornered me into the bike route and it got really close," she recalled. "It followed me for like two minutes and I got scared."

Neida, crying in fear, realized she was only a couple blocks from her friend's house and decided to take a detour there. When she arrived at the home, she hopped off her scooter and ran inside.

Her friend’s father told 3TV he ran outside and saw the van in front of his yard. He said he tried to chase it but lost sight of it.

Neida said there were two men inside the van, one of whom she described as heavy-set with tattoos.

She thought the van might have been a taxi cab because it had numbers on it.

Her school sent a letter home with students this week, warning children and their parents to watch for strangers.

Two weeks ago, a 14-year-old girl was forced into a passenger car but, for some reason, set free.

Another 11-year-old girl was nearly forced into a van earlier this week.

The girls described three different vehicles, but there are similarities in the suspect descriptions. Police said it is still unknown whether the crimes are related.

"It has become one of our top priorities to saturate this area and try to get more information," Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump said. "We're fortunate that all of these have been 'attempt' classifications ... and we do not want to see something happen to a young victim in this neighborhood."

Neida said she is glad she followed her parents' advice.

"They told me not to get close to strangers cars and, if they offer me anything, to not take it from them," she said.