PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia police are searching for a man wanted in an attempted abduction in Center City. The incident happened on the 200 block of South 13th Street, around 6 a.m. Sunday.
Police say a man in a red sedan got out of his vehicle and attacked a 24-year-old woman who was walking her dog. They said the man punched the woman in the face and told her to get into his car. The victim ran away and the suspect left the scene north on 13th Street.
Police have increased patrols in the area following the incident. People who live nearby say they always felt safe, but are now questioning their comfort.
“That’s scary stuff and that’s broad daylights. That’s very scary,” said Nicole Shultz, who works in the area.
It was about 6 a.m. Sunday when the woman was walking her dog near South 13th Street and Walnut. The man, described as black in his late teens or early 20s, gets out, run towards her and tries to kidnap her.
The woman screamed and was able to get away, but was punched in the face in the altercation. The man drove away in his red Mitsubishi Gallant.
“The streets are pretty lonely on Sunday morning. She was walking her dog alone. We believe he was going to try to abduct her and pull her into that car,” Philadelphia Police Captain Mark Burgmann said during a press conference on Tuesday.
Police say the man had been circling the area prior to the attempted abduction.
“You can clearly see when this male was stalking this female,” Burgmann said. “He circled the block several times early Sunday morning. The streets are pretty lonely on Sunday morning. She was walking her dog alone. We believe he was going to try to abduct her and pull her into this car.”
“We see the Mitsubishi go by, makes a right-hand turn, circles the block, takes a little bit so he must have been around the corner watching her,” Burgmann said. “So, he looked like he was stalking her.”
“I’m stunned someone would just grab someone from the sidewalk from out of a car,” resident Pamela Bona said.
Police say you should always be on guard and travel with someone if you can.
“It’s not just women, it’s anybody — it’s men and women. Just be aware of your surroundings all the time,” Burgmann said.
The vehicle is said to be a Red Mitsubishi sedan with no hub caps and a possible Uber emblem on the passenger side front windshield. The tag is unknown.
Police are looking into whether the suspect is an Uber driver.
If you have any information on this incident, call police.
Police say this incident is not connected to an alleged rape and robbery that happened on Latimer Street on the same morning just a block and a half away.
CBS3’s Howard Monroe contributed to this report.