WENATCHEE — An alert security guard helped an 11-year-old girl escape from an attempted kidnapping late Saturday morning on the Wenatchee Valley College campus.
Arrested on suspicion of first-degree attempted kidnapping was John A. Graff, 43, of Leavenworth.
The security guard, Kevin Edwards, also detained the suspect until Wenatchee police arrived at the scene.
About 11 a.m., the Wenatchee girl was walking home from Western Market at Fifth Street and Western Avenue through the college campus when a man approached her and asked what she was doing and what her name was, said Detective Edgar Reinfeld. She kept walking and tried to ignore him until he grabbed her around the shoulders and asked if she wanted to get into his truck.
Edwards, a few minutes earlier, had noticed the girl and the man walking through campus in opposite directions, Reinfeld said. He started watching the man intently when the man turned and started walking in the same direction as the girl.
When the girl started screaming and trying to get away from the man, Edwards ran toward them, allowing the girl to break free, Reinfeld said. Edwards told the girl to run home and then he detained the suspect.
“He told him to sit down and not move, and he did,” Reinfeld said.
After police arrived, responding to Edwards call for help, the girl’s father came to the scene. Police later interviewed the girl.
“It’s hard to say if she would have succeeded in getting away by herself if Mr. Edwards had not come running at them,” Reinfeld said, “but she did exactly what she should have done: She screamed and tried to break contact and tried not to talk to the weird guy.”
The assault happened about 11 a.m. near the east end of the fountain near the library, Reinfeld said. He said Graff has a previous conviction for assault but he had no details.
This is the second time that Edwards has helped police capture a suspect, Reinfeld said. On Dec. 19, 2010, Edwards was also working as a security officer when he helped police locate a man suspected of robbing Walgreens. Edwards pointed out footprints in the snow that belonged to the suspect and he pointed out a jacket and money that the suspect had dropped while fleeing the scene of the robbery. Edwards was honored by the police department in 2011 for his actions in helping solve that robbery.
Dee Riggs: 664-7147