A SCHOOLBOY was left in tears after breaking free from the grip of a would-be kidnapper in Gilford on Saturday afternoon.
Nathan Elliott was less than two minutes away from his home in Dunbarton Bungalows when, while returning from visiting his grandmother, a car pulled into the side of the road and the passenger got out and grabbed his arm.
The man, thought to be aged in his 20s, urged the boy, who was taking a shortcut at Dunbarton Street opposite Sandy Row, to ‘Come here’ but the 14-year-old managed to break free from his hold and ran away.
His mum Tracy Hobson said he came home pale and crying. “He was scared stiff,” said the mum-of-three.
“He might be 14 but he looks a lot younger and maybe that’s why they stopped. His granny only lives a short distance from here and he visits her quite often. “I never would have thought this would happen in this area. I would be very worried about letting him out now. And I’m even more worried about letting the two younger ones out.”
Tracy said she is keen to warn other parents of the dangers when their children are outside.
“I have brought all my kids up to know not to talk to strangers and all the rest - but Nathan was on his way home in broad daylight and this happened.
“I just want to warn parents to be vigilant and for their kids to be vigilant. Maybe if they go together in groups it’s less likely to happen. But I still can’t believe this happened such a short distance from home.”
The car used in the attack was possibly a Fiesta and is described as having been small and light blue.
The male passenger is described as being in his 20s, of medium height with medium length blonde/brown hair. He was wearing a blue hooded top. The driver of the car was male, aged in his 20s with short, dark hair. He was wearing a dark top.
Police are keen to speak to the driver and passenger of the vehicle or anyone who witnessed the incident, particularly a motorcyclist who was in the area at the time. He is asked to contact police in Banbridge on 0845 600 8000.