A mother who lives near Puyallup told KIRO 7 that a stranger followed her 10-year-old daughter as she rode her bike home from a neighborhood park and tried to get her inside his pickup truck Tuesday around 5 p.m. near the 6500 block of Summerwood Drive East.
That mother said a neighbor realized something was wrong, called the girl over to her, then dialed 911.
"It makes my blood boil,” said the 10-year-old girl’s mother who did not want to be identified publicly.
She said her daughter and the neighbor who stepped in to help both identified the man’s truck in surveillance video that was shared with KIRO 7 and handed over to Pierce County deputies Thursday.
"He started asking her questions,” said the mom, who told us her daughter said she tried to ignore the man. He reportedly followed her in his truck.
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"He said, ‘Hey do you want to get in my truck?’ And she said, ‘No thank you,’” said the mom. “He said, ‘Do you want to come to my house? You know it'd be fun.’"
The mother said her daughter told her the man then got out of his truck.
"Proceeded to put his hand around her mouth,” she said. “The only thing she could think of was to bite him and just kick and scream and was able to grab her bike and keep going."
Neighbor Karri Popp told KIRO 7 she spotted the girl and truck while out in her yard.
"I noticed the little girl, and her face was not – it didn't look right,” said Popp. “And so the truck was kind of following her."
Karri, a mother and a local teacher, said her instincts kicked in and she acted quickly.
"That's when I made eye contact with her and said hey, come on over here,” said Popp. “She just said that, ‘he asked me what my name is and how old I was and what school I went to.’”
Popp said she then dialed 911.
Another neighbor, Austin Aldrich, said he heard about what happened through a neighborhood group and checked his surveillance cameras. Both Karri and the 10-year-old girl confirmed a pickup truck captured on one of his cameras driving along Summerwood Drive as the vehicle that followed the girl.
The video shows the truck leaving the neighborhood several minutes after it first entered. Aldrich said a deputy showed up to his house about an hour before KIRO 7 Thursday to collect the video.
Karri said, after calling the girl over, she then walked the girl home to her mom. The mother said she filed a report with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department
"I want to get this person off the street,” said the mother. “If not, then everybody aware to be on the lookout."
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