Man attempts to abduct girl by asking if she wants to see ‘puppies’

Posted at 5:44 PM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-07 17:44:26-04

SPARTA, Mich. -- A 12-year-old girl reported a man drove up to her while walking in downtown Sparta and asked her if she wanted to see puppies then if she wanted a ride home, police say.

Officials with the Sparta Police Department say this is the only recently reported attempted abduction. It happened Thursday, Aug. 3 around 5 p.m. near the public parking lot on East Division near Washington Street. Police say the man is between the ages of 40 and 50 and was driving a large black van. The girl reported that when she said no the man drove away.

Officer David Price says this is an uncommon occurrence in the Sparta area, but asks families to teach their children how to handle a situation like this before it ever happens.

"It’s tough to tell what this person’s intentions were, but a situation like this is an excellent time for parents to realize there are dangers out there and not to assume that their kids know how to make the right decisions," said Price.

The police department's Facebook post sparked a growing conversation where parents are sharing similar but different incidents, including in the Rockford area.