Man attempts to abduct child in Templeton

TEMPLETON — An attempted kidnapping occurred on Saturday, Jan. 20 at approximately 12:30 p.m. on the 1200 block of Bennett Way in Templeton. A 9-year-old girl who was playing in a mobile home park playground was approached by a Hispanic male who tried to grab her. She resisted and was able to break free and run home. The girl notified her family members who contacted the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

The young girl described the man as a Hispanic male, unknown age, approximately 6-foot-tall with a thin build, black hair, bushy eyebrows and black facial hair. Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area and searched the neighborhood, but were unable to locate anyone matching the description. No witnesses have been identified at this time.

The mother of the young girl, who wished to remain anonymous, shared her ideas on what may have helped her daughter react and get away so quickly.

“Part of it is her personality,” she said. “She is a little spitfire and she’s got three older brothers. Her first reaction when he put his arms (around her) or when he grabbed her around the waist, when she elbowed him, was ‘excuse me!’ like she was more offended that he would touch her. Part of it is because I do work on the other side of the spectrum, I do deal with inmates that are in prison so I am hyper-vigilant in what I tell my kids and about protection.”

When asked how is her daughter holding up, the mother said that the girl knew it was a bad situation, but she is not ”jaded” because her mom protects her and her children. She said that her daughter doesn’t realize the severity of the incident, but knows that something serious happened.

“She knows it was not right, that there was nothing about that situation that felt right, that she needed to get away,” she said.

Although not overly afraid, that first night after the incident, the girl did sleep her mom’s room. “We are not so quick to go outside, it’s going to be a process,” her mother said.

That same day, after reporting the incident to police, the girls’ mother took action and typed up a note informing everyone in the park that the incident had occurred. She felt that was the best thing she could do since it was the weekend. One of the neighbors took a photo of the note and shared it on social media where it was shared numerous times.

On Monday, the young girl’s family contact the Templeton Unified School district to inform them of the incident. She felt relieved in getting the word out to as many people possible.

Dr. Joe Koski, the Superintendent issued a warning to the parents that same morning.

Although similar scenarios in the county have been reported via social media, SLO Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Tony Cipolla said that he believes this was an isolated incident.

The investigation is ongoing. If anyone has information on the incident or others that are similar in nature, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 805-781-4500.

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