Teenage jogger in Montgomery fends off assailant

April 23, 2013

A 14-year-old boy jogging on a Gaithersburg sidewalk was accosted by a man who tried to pull him toward a white van parked nearby, police officials said Tuesday.

The teenager pushed back, was not hurt and fled, said Officer Dan Lane, a spokesman for the Gaithersburg police department. No words were exchanged during the encounter, Lane said.

The incident happened about 6:54 p.m. Monday, when the teenager running on the sidewalk of Midsummer Drive, Lane said. As he ran next to a parked van, the man got out and grabbed the boy’s arm, Lane said. After the jogger ran away, the assailant got back into his van and drove away, toward Muddy Branch Road, officials said.

Lane said detectives were following a number of leads Tuesday and working the case as an attempted kidnapping. There was no immediate indication that the assault was related to any previous incidents, Lane said.

Officials described the man as Hispanic with a medium complexion, muscular build and short, black hair. He is believed to be about 6 feet tall and weigh 200 pounds and have a goatee, brown eyes, round face and sideburns reaching the middle of his ears, police said. Detectives said he was wearing a white crewneck-style T-shirt with three-quarter-length sleeves, white pants and tan boots, possibly work-style.

Police described the white van as a “square style, similar to a delivery or painter van,” with red trim along the top. The van had a passenger-side sliding door and solid wheels, with no hubcaps. Police said the passenger side window was “extremely tinted.”

Post staff writer Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County, Md.
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