The suspect's vehicle. Credit: SWFL Crime Stoppers

Crime Stoppers says ‘no attempted abduction’ after initial report of one

UPDATE (1:10 p.m.) According to Crime Stoppers, “Upon further interviews with the victim this morning, detectives have determined that no attempted abduction took place in this incident.”

Original story:

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying a man who tried to abduct a Fort Myers teenager as she walked home from school Thursday afternoon.

The victim was westbound on Braman Avenue, near Broadway Avenue, around 4:30 p.m. when a white man in a red pickup truck approached her. The man told the teenager that he’d been watching her and that he noticed she didn’t have her cell phone with her. At that point, he grabbed the victim by the back of her shirt and backpack in an attempt to pull her into the vehicle.

The victim bit the suspect’s left forearm and managed to escape his grip. As she was running away, the teen noticed the suspect make a u-turn and drive back in the direction he came, towards Broadway Avenue.

The suspect is described as a heavyset man in his 50s, with red shoulder-length hair, a red beard and an acne-scarred face. He is believed to be driving a red Nissan Frontier.

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