Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Kauluwela custodian stops
possible abduction

By Rod Antone

An elementary school custodian might have saved a 13-year-old girl from being abducted or seriously injured as she walked to school yesterday morning, Honolulu police said.

The girl was passing through Kauluwela Elementary School campus to get to her school when she was grabbed from behind at around 7:30 a.m., police said.

The girl fought and screamed and caught the attention of a nearby Kauluwela custodian, police said. The custodian, a 17-year employee of Kauluwela, ran toward the screams at which point, police said, the male suspect released the girl.

The suspect fled on foot before getting into a Ford Ranger-style pickup truck to leave the scene, police said. The male suspect is described as having a medium, stocky build and black hair. Kauluwela school sits along Aala Street just makai of the H-1 freeway.

The principal of the school that the victim attends said the girl does not live in the school district and she is one of many students who are a "geographical exception" and walk to school in the morning.

Police have requested that the identity of the victim and the school she attends not be revealed out of concern for her safety.

Police said the girl was taken by ambulance to the Kapiolani Medical Center for evaluation and was treated and released. The principal said the girl did not suffer serious physical injuries.

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