Police are investigating two abduction attempts reported in one day along 66th Street in St. Petersburg.
The first happened Monday at 11 a.m., and then another at 3:30 p.m. The only description is of an older man, who appears Hispanic, and who was driving a Lincoln Navigator.
One attack began as an innocent walk down First Avenue South on the way to a friend's house in plain daylight. Out of nowhere, a 15-year-old girl reported that she felt a hand on her shoulder and heard a demand: "Get in."
"At that point she immediately responded by kicking him in the groin," said Mike Puetz with the St Petersburg Police Department.
The attacker fell to the ground and the girl ran away.
It's not so different than what happened down farther down 66th street near 26th Avenue.
"When looking at the similarities of these two incidents, they're both occurring on the same day. The distance by car is pretty short. It's probably not more than a five minute drive between the two locations. And the fact that both are young girls and basically the same age," Puetz said.
The victim didn't get a good look at the man. She was too busy trying to get away, but she did hear his voice and thought he sounded older. Police say that he was wearing black gloves and that really has their attention.
"That would suggest that this person, aside from his actions, also had very evil intent on his mind," Puetz said.
It's enough to make anyone more cautious, especially in an area near the Pinellas Trail.
A women's group rides bicycles there every Tuesday.
"I've never had any problems," said Michelle Bushoven.
Word of the abduction attempt has their attention, but it won't change their route.
"Won't change. I'll be out there tonight and you'll see me out there tomorrow," Bushoven said.
"It's always scary to hear of young girls to trying to be abducted, no matter where it is, and I think as women, we just need to be mindful of our surroundings and make sure we look in front of us, in back of us," said cyclist Diana Moore.
That's exactly what the police department wants you to do: be more mindful. Look for any thing unusual in this area. If you've noticed anything or any one out of the ordinary now's a good time to mention it to police.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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