Suspect on the run in attempted abduction

An abduction attempt in Juniata has Altoona police looking for a white minivan and the man they said tried to grab a young girl on Friday.

The man, described as a heavy-set, older white male with gray hair, glasses and a long goatee without a moustache, approached the young girl, who police would only say was younger than 10, in the area of North 12th Street and North Fourth Avenue around 11:30 a.m., slid open the side door to the van and offered her candy.

Police said the man had candy in his hand, and when the girl declined his offer, he grabbed her by her wrist and tried to pull her inside the van.

“She screamed and was able to get away from him,” said Altoona police Cpl. Julie Cruse, who noted the girl ran to find an adult who then called 911.

Police were able to respond quickly but were unable to locate the van, which the girl said had windows and yellow streaks on the back. Cruse said the streaks were possibly left from an accident.

“It only takes a second,” Cruse said, referring to how fast an incident like Friday’s can unfold.

“We know there are people out there willing to try this.”

Cruse said the little girl, who was not harmed, did exactly what she was supposed to do in the situation.

Anyone with information about the attempted abduction is asked to call Altoona police Detective Marshall Worling at 949-2469.