Police seeking suspect in attempted kidnapping

By: Jeremy Selweski | Woodward Talk | Published December 14, 2012

Police are requesting the public’s help in tracking down a man who, they believe, followed a young woman in his vehicle before assaulting her on the street and attempting to kidnap her.

According to Detective Lt. Bill Wilson, at around 9:30 p.m. Dec. 13, Ferndale police received a call from a 24-year-old woman who said that she had just been attacked by an unknown man. The victim told police that she first encountered the man while she was waiting for a bus at Eight Mile and Warren in Detroit. He drove up in a minivan and asked her if she needed a ride, Wilson said. She declined the offer, but the man told her that he was going to follow the bus and wait for her when she got off.

“The man didn’t threaten her — he wasn’t mean to her — he just seemed suspicious and a little bit odd,” Wilson explained. “She was somewhat worried when she got off the bus, so she called her mom and told her that she thought this guy might be following her.”

The woman exited the bus at Eight Mile and Livernois and looked for the suspect, but she did not see him anywhere, Wilson said. She then walked northbound on Livernois toward her mother’s house for several blocks. Near Livernois and Albany, someone snuck up on her, grabbed her from behind and began to drag her away. However, she was able to fight back against the assailant.

“She had a big set of keys on her, so she reached back and hit her attacker in the face with them,” Wilson said. “But since he was behind her, she couldn’t see who he was at first. Then she turned around and saw that it was the same guy from earlier.”

The woman took off running, Wilson said, first making her way over to the Ferndale Fire Department headquarters on Livernois, but no one was there to let her inside. She then fled to her mother’s house, which was only a few blocks away, and called the police from there. She was not injured during the assault, but her glasses were broken.

The victim described her attacker as a white man, approximately 50 years old, with slicked-back gray hair and a gray mustache. His vehicle was a blue or gray minivan of an unknown make and model.

“That’s really the best description of the vehicle that we could get,” Wilson said. “People might be able to recognize (the suspect) more easily by his physical appearance, since he probably has some cuts and scratches on his face from those keys.”

Wilson added that Ferndale police are viewing this case as an attempted kidnapping, so residents should be on the lookout for anyone with a matching description prowling neighborhood streets. Anyone with additional information about the suspect or this particular incident is asked to call Ferndale police at (248) 541-3650 or Crime Stoppers of Michigan at (800) SPEAK-UP.