SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — South San Francisco Police arrested a man who they say tried to kidnap an 11-year-old girl while she was walking to school with a friend.
Police said the 37-year-old suspect, Christopher Cole, grabbed the girl on Palm Avenue Thursday morning and put his hand over her mouth.
Officers later arrested Cole after they said a good Samaritan stepped in to help.
Neighbor Allan Perez woke up to the commotion.
“I was confused at first,” Perez said. “You don’t really see a lot of police around this neighborhood. It wasn’t until later that afternoon that I heard about what really happened.”
Perez said he was surprised to learn about an attempted kidnapping because many kids walk to and from Parkway Heights Middle School.
Perez is now going to be more cautious.
“We just all as a community need to be a little bit more vigilant you know, protect the children as they’re walking to school,” he said.
Cole was apparently being cared for at an assisted living home.
According to the California Department of Social Services, this is a three-bed facility for adults.
A man who spoke with KRON4 said he works at the home but refused to be on camera, also said this is a misunderstanding.
Cole is developmentally disabled and he was not trying to kidnap the little girl.
As for the good Samaritan who confronted Cole, he was apparently also working at the care center.
Cole was later taken into custody at the care center.
It is unclear how Cole managed to get away from his caretakers.
The care center manager did not return phone calls for comment.