Video shows girl fleeing Fort Lauderdale abduction attempt; search for suspect continues

Parents say she reported first incident to school officials

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Fort Lauderdale police handed out flyers in the Poinsettia Heights neighborhood Friday as they continued searching for a man suspected of trying to lure a 10-year-old girl into his van with candy.

New video released by FLPD on Friday shows the young girl running away from the potential abductor, who approached the girl on Wednesday and Thursday.

“She said this man had parked the van on the side of the street and he came over and he opened the door and he asked her if she wants some candy,” the victim’s mother said in an exclusive interview with Local 10 News.

The incident happened between the 1400 block and the 1500 block of Northeast 17th Way, near Bennett Elementary and Sunrise Middle schools, Detective Ali Adamson, an FLPD spokesperson said.

The girl’s parents tell Local 10 that the student reported the incident to Bennett Elementary School staff, but she is not a student there, police said.

“I don’t know why the school didn’t alert me,” her mother said.

A man attempted to abduct a girl twice in Broward County.

Broward school officials said they don’t have any record of the first incident being reported.

In the second incident, the girl’s mother said he told her “you know, yesterday you didn’t get your candy or anything, here’s your candy.”

The suspect is described as white, 30 to 40 years old, with a medium build and brown, receding hair and glasses.

He was driving a black panel van with possible taillight damage.

A $5,000 reward is now being offered for his capture.

Anyone with information is asked to call Fort Lauderdale police detectives at 954-828-6559 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

Joseph Ojo joined Local 10 in April 2021. Born and raised in New York City, he previously worked in Buffalo, North Dakota, Fort Myers and Baltimore.