Decatur student escapes abduction attempt Tuesday afternoon, letter sent home

A 15-year-old Decatur High School student reported that she escaped an abduction attempt Tuesday afternoon. The school's principal David Brower, sent out an email to the families of Decatur students Thursday evening informing them of the incident two days after the attempt.

According to the letter, Decatur was notified of the abduction attempt that happened near the intersection of Southwest 344th Street and 30th Avenue Southwest. The high school student reported that a stranger approached her and grabbed her arm. The girl was able to get away and reach home safely, which was approximately 100 yards away from the incident, according to the Federal Way Police Department.

She reported the incident to her parents, who called the Federal Way Police Department. The police are investigating the report further. The suspect has been described as a Hispanic or mixed-race male, approximately 25-35 years old, 5-foot-8 with a stocky build. He has short, dark-brown hair and a mustache. He wore a zip-up, dark, hooded sweatshirt pulled over his head, blue jeans, sunglasses and black tennis shoes, according to the police.

If anyone has information regarding this case, they are encouraged to contact the Federal Way Police Department, Detective Michael Coffey at 253-835-6777 or

"The safety of our students, and all children in our community, is our first priority," wrote Brower. "We encourage parents, whenever possible, to accompany their children. When you feel like your child is old enough to play or walk without your supervision, we strongly recommend that you discuss some safety rules."

Brower listed several tips for parents and students:

• Always walk and play with a friend or in a group.

• Use sidewalks or paths that are in plain sight of passing cars and surrounding homes or businesses.

• Don't take shortcuts or trails.

• Keep your head up and look around — be alert and aware or your surroundings.

• Don’t go anywhere with a stranger or get into a stranger’s vehicle.

• Don’t allow a stranger to get close enough to reach you.

• Yell loudly for help if anyone attempts to force you to go with them.

• When at home, keep doors and windows locked and don’t open the door to anyone.

• Call 9-1-1 if you believe someone is trying to get into your house or yard.

• Tell an adult right away if you are approached in an inappropriate way.

"Our intention is not to create fear, but to empower children with common-sense practices that can help keep them safe," Brower wrote.

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