Attempted kidnappings in south Augusta

By: Stephanie Baker Email
By: Stephanie Baker Email

News 12 at 6:00, May 23, 2007

AUGUSTA, GA--South Augusta families say a man tried to take their young children from their own neighborhood. They say the kidnapping attempts happened in the 3900 block of Ellen Street on Monday, and then again on Tuesday.

Investigators say the key to protecting your children is making sure they know what to do. These children did, and managed to get away from a man who tried to lure them into his jeep.

It was four twenty Monday afternoon, and a man drove up to a school bus stop, rolled down the window, and told Priscilla Griffin's two young daughters to get in.

"They didn't know him, so they ran in the house and came and got me." She said.

She noticed a white jeep parked up the street, and she says it came back the next day. This time, her daughters, and her neighbor's son, were playing in her front yard.

"The children told me he said hey, 'little boy, little boy, come here.' " Said neighbor Tarteria Bennings.

Her four-year-old son, Michael, responded like this: "The man wanted me to talk with him, and I said no." He said.

Michael ran inside to tell his mother what happened. The sheriff's department says that is exactly what he should have done.

"We encourage the child to get as quickly as possible away from the danger area and go to an adult or safe place." Said Sergeant Richard Roundtree.

He says younger children are sometimes too trusting, and it's important to teach kids that some strangers can hurt them. Tarteria Bennings says that could happen here: "I just don't know what's going on with this neighborhood!"

"You never know what's going to happen with your kids." Said Priscilla Griffin.

The white jeep took off before those mothers could figure out who it was.
They know it's a white jeep with a Gerald Jones Honda paper tag.

To protect your kids, investigators say you should develop a safety plan, and tell your kids what to do and who to call in case something like this happens to them.


Update May 25, 2007: Richmond County deputies tell News 12 that a man seen driving in a neighborhood never attempted to kidnap two young children.

Deputies tell us they got a report of suspicious activity while the man was driving on Ellen Street, but after investigating, found no reason to believe the man was trying to kidnap a child.

It turns out the man was visiting a work supervisor who lives in the area.


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  • by Terry Location: homemaker on May 25, 2007 at 08:59 AM
    Melissa, maybe you should reread my first post, you apparently didn't comprehend my report of an attempted abduction in a subdivision in a rural area across the Little River Bridge. My POINT WAS this could happen anywhere, but ALSO, the person trying to abduct the children in Woodlake, Hephzibah, subdivision RETURNED to the SAME location in Woodlake, Hephzibah, (NOT South Augusta) so the location IS an important PART of the issue here. The police sure think so. Also, it is the parents' responsibility to supervise children at busstops, not the police. By the time police could get there in a kidnapping situation, it's too late. Parents are the first line of defense, the children's education of dangers, is the second. Shame on you for thinking you can read commenters' hearts, and judging others when you didn't even comprehend what you read right in front of you. You jumped to the wrong conclusions, but I commend you for caring enough to write even if you misunderstood what you read in my post. I can understand the frustration, fear and worry.
  • by Melissa Location: Augusta on May 25, 2007 at 06:38 AM
    Shame you th eones responding regarding lcoation becoming the issue instead of the welfare of our children. With out this report others could not be aware and on the look out for such a situation in there neighborhood, no matter the location. If someone is mobile in a car/ Jeep they can go anywhere to harm our children. So, instead of complaining about the police or the location of the incident beware of your location and surroundings and protect our future Our children. Don't complain call the police!
  • by Terry Location: homemaker on May 24, 2007 at 06:05 PM
    No, there is no town called South Augusta. That street is in the town of Hephzibah which could be described as South OF Augusta. That was my point. I have lived in the area since the early 60's, I used to deliver flowers throughout the CSRA, I know the layout of the land here. There IS a North Augusta, South Carolina, but there is not a South Augusta anywhere.
  • by derak Location: augusta on May 24, 2007 at 12:36 PM
    i think police should be bus stops they sit in barneys pharmacy doing nothing and we have child molesters looking for children why dont police patrol bus stops? i blame richmond county for that , he probably is a registered sex offendered for ALL WE KNOW???
  • by Guess Location: Hephzibah on May 24, 2007 at 08:21 AM
    Yes Terry, Hephzibah is south augusta. Where are you from?
  • by Terry Location: homemaker on May 24, 2007 at 07:08 AM
    Isn't this in Woodlake Subdivision, Hephzibah, Georgia? Since when is Hephzibah, South Augusta? Please be more accurate with the geography. Even South OF Augusta would have been more accurate, if ya can't spell Hephzibah (wink). Of course, we should always be alert no matter where we live. Over 10 years ago, over the little River Bridge, a brother playing in a cul-de-sac down a frame rattling washboard dirt road had to pull his little brother out of the clutches of a man in an older model vehicle trying to pull him into his car. No area is immune to this horror.
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