Attempted abduction claim ‘blown up’ online

BELLWOOD — A Facebook post claiming there was an attempted abduction near Myers Elementary School Tuesday evening appears to be false.

About 6:30 p.m., a white male approached two children who were playing outside of their residence on Clark Street, which is about a block away from the school. The children were inside of a fenced yard, said Bellwood Police Department Patrolman John Miller.

A man described as being in his 60s with a long gray beard was observed walking past the residence on Clark Street, turning around and approaching the side fenced-in yard.

As the man walked toward the fence, one of the children saw him and screamed.

The man made no attempt to speak with the children, and upon hearing the scream, he ran off, Miller said.

The children’s father was doing yard work on the other side of the house, and when he heard

the scream, he turned the corner to observe the male

running from the area, Miller added.

The incident did not occur during school hours and is not connected with any school activities, Miller said.

“This was blown up on Facebook. There were two kids playing behind a fence and a man walked toward them. They screamed and he ran,” Miller said.

“To the best of my knowledge, there was no attempt at abduction; it got blown out of proportion on Facebook. No move was made toward any kids,” said Jeffrey Hanna, school district security officer.

Hanna said the school district sent out a districtwide text to alert parents about what happened.

“We took the necessary steps to ensure the safety of the kids and beefed up security. All of the kids were brought inside the school when they arrived this morning instead of letting them wait outside,” Hanna said. “We had an assembly with the students to remind them of stranger-danger so they know what to do if approached by a stranger. We took every precaution to ensure the safety of the kids and will continue to do so.”

Bellwood police are continuing their investigation.