Belfast Telegraph

Third abduction bid in a week foiled after Northern Ireland girl kicks attacker in the shin

By Chris Kilpatrick

A 15-year-old girl kicked a would-be abductor in the shin and fled after he tried to drag her into his car, police have said.

The terrifying incident happened in Co Down and was the third attempted abduction in Northern Ireland in the past week following the targeting of another teenage girl and a seven-year-old boy.

Police said the girl was walking along the Comber Road in Ballygowan, Co Down on Saturday night when a motorist stopped and asked for directions.

He then reportedly grabbed her arm and tried to pull her towards his car before she kicked him and ran off.

Children and parents have been urged to be extra vigilant following the approach, with calls for police to increase their presence in the area.

"My understanding is that this is the third incident of its kind in Ballygowan in the past six or seven months," DUP councillor Robert Gibson, who lives in the village, said. "In all the instances those responsible got away.

"There is a lot of concern locally and it is vital young people are vigilant. Ballygowan is a small commuter village and this is not an easy thing to detect. So far children have survived by being wise to the threat."

PSNI Detective Constable Owen Nevin said the teenage girl had left a group of friends on the Belfast Road, close to a takeaway, at around 10pm when the incident took place.

As she made her way along the Comber Road, a dark-coloured car pulled up alongside her and the driver rolled down the passenger window and asked for directions.

"The girl replied that she didn't know the location and walked on," Mr Nevin said. "She then heard a car door opening and observed the driver of the car in front of her.

"This male then grabbed her by the arm and attempted to pull her towards the car. The girl kicked the man in the shin and managed to break free and ran back towards the Belfast Road where she met up with her friends again."

The man is described as being in his late 20s with short, dark hair. He is said to be clean shaven and wore a dark-coloured hooded top and jeans.

The car involved in the abduction attempt was described as an old, small saloon-type vehicle and was navy or black in colour.

Police are also investigating two alleged abduction attempts in Co Antrim in the past week.

A seven-year-old boy was walking home from school last Wednesday when a man reportedly tried to lure him into his car in Ballymena.

The child refused and ran home. He was left badly shaken but uninjured.

The previous night a 16-year-old girl was walking in Ballycastle when a car drew up behind her.

The male driver shouted obscenities at her and continued to do so as the girl entered Leyland Road.

He then turned his car off and lunged across the passenger seat and attempted to grab her through the open passenger door, police said.

The girl ran off and the driver left the area.

Police have appealed for information on all three incidents.

A spokesman said there was nothing to suggest that any of the incidents were linked.

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