City of Groton police have released a sketch of a man accused of attempting to kidnap a teenage girl who was walking along Shore Avenue Monday.
Police said they received a 911 call around 3:10 p.m. Monday from the victim who said she was walking down Shore Avenue near South Prospect Street when a man hiding in the bushes grabbed her and tried to force her into a car. The victim said the vehicle was waiting along the road with the passenger door already opened.
"He was in the hedge. His body was in the hedge and the car door was right there, so that girl couldn't go anywhere but in that truck. And that's where he was pushing her," said Jean Strickland.
Strickland said she and her granddaughter, Katie Tuohy, were in a car stopped at a stop sign on South Prospect Street when they saw a man grab the victim. Strickland said she rolled down the window to see what was going on.
"We asked if she was OK and she said 'no.' And I guess the guy shoved her and she came running to our car, and Katie let her in the back seat," said Strickland.
"I said, 'Do you know that man?' and she said, 'No.' And I said, 'Call 911.'"
Strickland said the truck sped off and she tried to follow to get a license plate but soon lost the vehicle. She says they drove to the police department.
"[The victim] was cut. She had cuts on her hand or something," said Strickland. "We were scared. I was scared. [My granddaughter] was scared, and the girl was scared to death."
Witnesses said the victim appeared to be in her teens and told them that she had been out for a walk when she was attacked.
"I saw a white truck here and a female shouting," said Dawn Howe.
Howe was inside her home at the time and said she saw the truck speed away. When she went outside, she didn't see anything. She called police as a precaution and told them what she heard. She said she soon learned from police that the man had been hiding in the bushes on the edge of her property.
"It's incredibly frightening," said Howe.
The man appeared to be in his early 20s, with an athletic build and between 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-9. He was wearing a white T-shirt and jeans at the time of the incident. Police said he fled in a white GMC pickup.
"I hope they find the guy, that's for sure," said Strickland.
Strickland and her granddaughter said they're glad they were there to help and wonder what could have happened if they hadn't been there.
"I feel kind of lucky that we were there and able to get her to the police station," said Katie.
Anyone with information on this case should contact City of Groton Police at 860-445-2451.