Police: Mesa teen fought off would-be kidnappers

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Sgt. Ed Wessing, Mesa Police Department By Catherine Holland Sgt. Ed Wessing, Mesa Police Department By Catherine Holland

MESA, Ariz. -- For the second time this week, a Mesa student was nearly abducted by two young men.

It happened Wednesday evening. According to Sgt. Ed Wessing of the Mesa Police Department, a 14-year-old girl had just finished basketball practice and was waiting outside the gym at Mesa High School, which is near Gilbert Road and Southern Avenue, for her mother to pick her up.

While she was waiting, a car pulled up and a man asked her if she wanted a ride. The teen said no and started to walk away.

Wessing said the man got out of the car and started to chase her. The girl ran toward a school building. A second man came out from behind that building and tried to grab her.

The teen managed to evade that second man, but the first one caught up with her and got her in a bear hug.

The teen, however, was determined to escape.

"She actually fought them off," Wessing said. "At one point she said she was able to strike the suspect in the groin area. He let go of her and she was able to continue running. She hid somewhere in the neighborhood until the suspects were gone."

The victim was not injured.

The suspects, one white man and one black man, are both in their late teens or early 20s.

The black man is between 6 feet 1 inch and 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighing between 160 and 180 pounds. He's between 17 and 20 years old and has a 1.5-inch Afro. He was wearing black clothes and a jeweled necklace.

The white suspect is a bit younger, between 15 and 17 years old. He has dirty blond hair in a "Justin Beiber" style. The victim was not able to provide any other information about him.

The suspects' vehicle is an older-model white four-door passenger car with duct tape on the passenger-side window.

Wessing said investigators do not believe this incident and one in which two young girls were approached by a pair of strangers at a community park are connected.

While police do not want to alarm parents, they do want them to be informed and to talk to their kids about "Stranger Danger."

"Take the time to talk with your children today about being aware of their surroundings and being safe," Wessing said in a news release. "We encourage parents to go to www.safekids.org/safety-basics/ and Mesaaz.gov/police/ for detailed information and tips on keeping your children safe."