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Second Attempted Abduction Reported Near Charter School

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Someone tried luring a child into a van Friday morning near a Chicago charter school in Washington Park, marking the latest of two recent attempted abductions near the school.

Family members said a man in a white van approached the 9-year-old girl around 7:15 a.m. while she walked to the neighborhood’s Chicago International Charter Schools campus on the 100 block of East 61st Street.

The girl was with her 5- and 6-year-old brothers when the man told her to get inside the van, her mother, Crystal Phillips, said. She refused and the three ran to the school.

“My daughter reported that a man chased them all the way to school,” Phillips said, “and my daughter said a man had a gun.”

Phillips said the man rolled down his window and called for help. After the kids started running, he got out of the vehicle and started chasing them, she said.

Administrators said a similar incident happened last Friday afternoon, when a man got out of a car and started chasing a student who was waiting for a bus. This child also was able to get away and parents reported the incident to police.

A letter was sent to parents notifying them of the incident.

“We need the community to come together,”¬†Managing Director Stacey Shells said. “We need neighbors to look out their windows in the morning. We need people in the community to be vigilant.”

Parents in the area say they’ve been working to get more of a police presence.

“We’ve been on the police department to get a camera,”¬†Anthony Caldwell said. “This is just one of a few incidents. Last year we used to have gang members park in this parking lot and shoot at the other gang members across the street.”

Police were on the scene of the school Friday to interview students, and squad cars were seen circling the block.

Phillips said she will walk with her children to school from now on.

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