Middlebury on the look out after report of stranger trying to abduct child

An attempted child abduction was reported in this area of Middlebury. // WSBT 22 photo

The mom of a Middlebury child is speaking out after she says her son was approached by a stranger near his bus stop on Monday. The boy is OK.

The mom has asked to remain anonymous since police still haven't caught the suspect, but she says she wants everyone to be on the lookout so no child in the area becomes the victim of any kind of abduction.

"A car approached him, almost pulled up on the curb on the opposite side of the street a car should have been on and he said, 'Hey kid, you wanna go for a ride?' And my son said, 'No' and he took off running," the mother said.

The mom says her 11-year-old son was walking just one block from his bus stop to home when a heavy-set black man, balding and with a beard, approached the boy.

"He was watching the guy, and he pulled the phone out of his pocket, and the guy made a quick U-turn in the cul de sac, and flew down the street and blew the stop sign and just pulled off," the mother said.

She says she's glad her son did the right thing and ran to a neighbor's house.

"I've tried to teach him all the rights and wrongs and what to do and what not to do," she said, "He didn't want the guy to know where he lived."

Now that the word's out, she says she knows the town's eyes are peeled.

"They're still going to look out for him regardless," the mother said. "Everyone watches out for everyone else; it's a great community."

And people are watching.

"I sit in this chair, and I turn around, and I watch this little boy ... and he goes down to the corner," said Mary Lewallen.

Neighbors like Lewallen are always on the lookout.

"When the bus comes I watch him get off," she said. "Sweet little boy."

Call it a hobby, but Lewallen picked her corner lot for a reason, and now she's being extra watchful since she heard what happened to the boy.

"Oh it made me sick to my stomach [...] so I've been watching," she said.

The boy's mom hopes the suspect, driving what she described as a black Toyota, is found

"There's still someone out there preying on children," the mother said.

"I just keep looking out the window and I'm just watching for this vehicle," the mother said, "You try not to freak out but at the same time, you really can't help it."

The Middlebury town marshal refused to speak on camera. However, he told WSBT 22 off camera that police have been vigilant, patrolling bus stop areas at pick-up and drop-off times.

He also said this is the only report they've received of this kind recently, and they haven't gotten any tips or sightings of the described suspect. The Elkhart County Sheriff's Department also tells us they haven't received any tips or similar reports.

As for the boy's mother, she said she'll be supervising him at the bus stop from now on.

"I guarantee you that my son will never be at the bus stop alone, I will be there every day on foot or in my vehicle waiting for him."

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off