13 September 2018

Mother believes her daughter's attempted abduction is linked to recent child approaches 

| Lachlan Roberts
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A bus stop on Knoke street, Gordon.

A distressed mother is worried that the man who tried to abduct her daughter from a bus stop in Gordon earlier this year is connected to the spate of child approaches in the past six months.

Around 9:30 am on 7 June, a 24-year-old woman was standing at the bus stop on Knoke Avenue with headphones in her ears and phone in hand, waiting for a bus to take her to Tuggeranong.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a white car pull up. All of a sudden, a man grabbed her wrists and tried to drag her into the car. She started kicking him in the shins and screaming at him to leave her alone and managed to fight off the man, who then got back into his car and drove away.

The distressed mother told her daughter’s harrowing story to The RiotACT and believes the man is linked to the incidents where children have been approached, stalked, assaulted or grabbed across the ACT and in Queanbeyan.

She said her daughter, who was diagnosed with epilepsy a few years ago, was already hesitant to leave the house before the incident due to her condition and now did not leave the family home alone.

The Gordon mother recalls the day like it was yesterday, forever etched in her memory.

“Usually, her brother would take her places but his CIT class for that week had been moved and I was recovering from three surgeries in two weeks so I was not well enough to drive,” she shared.

“With a lot of encouragement from her family, she agreed to get a bus, which was something that she hadn’t done in many years.

“To my amazement, she was up early in the morning and had showered and was getting ready to go. She left the house a little after 9 am and walked to the nearby bus stop on Knoke Avenue.”

A short time later, there was this frantic bashing and banging on the back door.

“I took one look at her face and there was shock and terror written over her face like I had never seen before. She was shaking and she had lost her shoe,” the mother said.

“She told me someone tried to grab her and all she wanted to do was crawl under her bed and hide. But I made her sit down and made her a cup of tea and got her to tell me the whole story. We called the police and they came out and had a look to see what they could find.”

The mother believes her daughter’s attempted abduction is linked to the eight child approaches this year due to her young looks and a car matching the description of the one in other cases.

The man who tried to abduct the woman is described as being Caucasian, 30 to 40 years old, about 165cm tall (5’5”), and of slim build. He was wearing a hat or beanie, light coloured T-shirt, blue jeans and sneakers.

The close-knit family is still recovering from the attack and the mother said the incident still had an effect on her daughter’s and the whole family’s life.

“She doesn’t want to leave the house by herself but I encourage her to come and help me with my gardening and one of her friends takes her out once a week,” she said. “There is no way I am going to be able to get her on a bus alone again.”

An ACT Policing spokesperson said the incident was not part of the centralised investigation into child approaches after it was determined there was no link.

Police are advising the public that anyone who is approached or is in a situation where they feel unsafe should immediately contact police on 131 444 or in the case of an emergency should call Triple Zero (000).

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