Police warn public of attempted kidnapping during sporting event at Moana Park in Reno
The Reno Police Department is warning the public of an attempting kidnapping of a 2-year-old that happened over the weekend at a local park.
Sgt. Kc Myers says on April 14, officers were dispatched to the area of Moana Park on the report of an attempted kidnapping.
Myers tells News 4-Fox 11 that the 2-year-old victim was with family watching a soccer game when an unknown male suspect tried to walk her to the park exit by her hand.
The suspect, who was unknown to the family, fled the area on foot when confronted by the victim's father.
RPD investigators swabbed the girl's hand. They are currently testing the swab for DNA evidence.
Myers says the suspect is described as a white male adult between 5-foot-10-inches and 6-foot tall with brown and gray hair. He was last seen wearing a dark gray shirt or jacket as he ran through the parking lot of the park complex.
Detectives with the Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit are actively investigating the case and would like to speak to anyone who may have been in the area and potentially witnesses the suspect or the events leading up to the incident.
Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Secret Witness at 775-322-4900.
A second suspicious incident occurred when a man, seen in the following photo, was lying on the sidelines during a game Saturday.
A commissioner of the Nevada Youth Soccer Association, Richard Jay, was at the soccer fields at the time.
Jay asked the man to sit up so that a ball woudn't hit him. He continued to monitor the man for several minutes afterwards. The man walked back and forth from the game smoking cigarettes.
After the man moved to a different soccer field, Jay determined that he most likely was not a parent. He called the Reno Police Department. Officers found him some time later down the street.
RPD officers determined that the man was homeless and that he didn't have a viable reason to be on the fields. He wasn't there to watch family members or friends playing soccer.
Officers issued a trespassing warning.
Great Basin Youth Soccer League, who plays at Moana Park, posted the following photo on their Facebook page saying the male is banned from the field.
RPD investigators have determined that he is not connected to the attempted kidnapping.
President of Great Basin Youth Soccer League Randy Ritter sent the following letter to parents and staff following the incident:
Dear Parents and Coaches of GBYSL
Over the weekend we had two incidents at Moana Springs Soccer Fields
A father reported his daughter missing and saw her holding the hand of a man. He yelled out and the guy let her go and ran off.Reno PD was dispatched and swabbed her hand for possible DNA residue.We are waiting for the results.There was a similar incident at the South Valleys baseball fields earlier in the week and description of the person were similar.
In addition, we were monitoring a person during the games.He was watching one game going in and out to smoke a cigarette. When he finished one game and went to another game, at that point we called the police to report suspicious activity. He left the fields, Reno PD found him down the street and determined he did not belong at the fields.He was instructed in vivid details if found near the fields again he will be arrested and we will file any and all charges against him.All staff members and board members have a picture of him.
We are enhancing security and hiring a security guards for the exits.We purchased a more robust PA system and are reviewing the possibility of installing cameras.Our board members and staff will review protocols and establish new ones for the safety of all kids. Over the winter we installed bollards and security chain to make sure cars could not drive onto the fields.
We have a link on our FB page directing you to an US Youth Soccer safety flyer.
We ask all of you to do the following;
-Keep a vigilant eye on your kids, know where they are at all times.
-If you see something or someone suspicious report it to the staff at the GBYSL tent.
-Establish a protocol with your kids should you become separated from them; the tent area will have staff members. Staff/board members will have ID badges on them at all times; they have GBYSL logo clothing to ID themselves as GBYSL staff/board members.
-Do not take matters into your own hands, let us know immediately.
-The more eyes watching, the safer for our kids.
Finally a huge thank you to Chief Soto and his staff of Reno Police Department for their fast response and professionalism.Also a thank you to ESI Security for getting us the security guards for this weekend.