Mother screams in terror as man tries abducting toddler from Sydney park

POLICE are hunting a man who allegedly tried to abduct a three-year-old girl from a park in Sydney’s inner-west.

The terrifying incident is alleged to have occurred on Norton Street in Leichhardt around 5pm on Tuesday.

Police say the three-year-old girl was playing in Pioneers Memorial Park when she was approached by a man.


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The man allegedly spoke to the toddler before taking her by the hand and walking away with her, police said.

The girl’s mother, who was standing nearby, screamed in terror and ran after the man to retrieve her daughter.

As the woman, who was left trembling and in shock, embraced her daughter, the man fled the scene.

The shaken mother phoned police who have spent the almost 24 hours since searching for the man but to no avail.

He is described as being of Indian appearance, about 170cm tall, with a thin build, with short black hair and no facial hair. Police say he was wearing a red t-shirt, black tracksuit pants and white shoes at the time.

It’s the second child abduction attempt in Sydney in the last week.

A man matching a similar description to Tuesday’s offender allegedly tried to snatch a 15-month-old boy from a children’s playground at a mall in Liverpool on Thursday, May 25 (read more here).

 

Anyone who witnessed either incident or who may have further information is urged to contact Leichhardt Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The two separate incidents have prompted police to encourage parents to discuss the ‘Safe People, Safe Places’ messages with their children, including;

  • Make sure your parents or another adult you know knows where you are at all times.
  • Always walk straight home or to the place you are walking to. Walk near busier roads and streets, or use paths where there are lots of other people.
  • Know where safe places are – a shop, service station, police station, library or school. If you are ever frightened, you should go to one of these places and ask them to call the police.
  • Learn about safe adults you can look for and talk to if you need help – police officers, teachers at school, adults you know and trust.
  • Don’t talk to people you don’t know and never get into a car with someone you don’t know. If a car stops on the side of the road and you don’t know the person inside, do not stop.
  • If you are scared and can use a phone, call 000 and tell them you are scared.
  • If someone tries to grab you, yell out, ‘Go away, I don’t know you’. This lets other people know you have been approached by someone you don’t know.