Courts & Crime

Anchorage police fear man is stalking young schoolgirls

ANCHORAGE — A lone young man has struck three young schoolgirls with his vehicle in early morning darkness over the past two weeks near East Anchorage elementary schools, and police and school authorities are calling the incidents abduction attempts.

Authorities say the three episodes -- the first occurred Jan. 14, the second Thursday and the third Friday -- are connected, even though the precise details investigators have gathered differ.

"We have a very dangerous situation unfolding in the community," schools Superintendent Carol Comeau said in a joint School District-police press briefing Friday.

The episodes are alike in that the vehicle involved strikes the children, then the driver attempts to get the youngsters into the car. In the Thursday morning case, the 10-year-old girl got into the car, apparently accepting the driver's offer of a ride, but was later released after they passed by her school and she started screaming.

On Friday, the incident unfolded around 7:45 a.m. when a man first told the 11-year-old girl walking to Clark Middle School that there was a moose in the neighborhood and to get in the car. When she refused, he hit her in the back with his vehicle, then told her he worked at the hospital and could give her a ride, police said.

"We think the individual is becoming emboldened," said Lt. Nancy Reeder of the Anchorage Police Department's patrol unit.

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