The girl says attempted abduction happened at about 2 p.m., at a children’s playground in Veterans’ Park. Orange City Police Investigator Duane Hulstein says the child used the “family password” to check out the man’s story and ran when the man couldn’t give it.
“The girl said the male subject knew her by name and knew her mother’s name. The male told her that the mother had sent her to pick her up from the park,” Hulstein says. “When the girl asked him for the password, the guy could not answer and the girl went home and informed the mother of the incident.”
The man told the girl his name was Bill Benson.
“The family has a password system that they use,” Hulstein says. “When the child leaves the house, they give them a password and when somebody approaches them and they can’t repeat the password, then the child knows it’s probably an unsafe situation.”
According to Hulstein, the girl says the man did not try to grab her, but the 10-year-old ran home when the suspect couldn’t give that password.
“The mother called 911. Officers responded to the park. The subject was not located at that time,” Hulstein says. “The girl gave a description of a heavier male, possibly 55 to 65 years old, wearing a brown shirt, brown shorts and wearing a brown John Deere ball cap.”
The girl also says the man had a white beard. Hulstein says the man was last seen walking south, out of the park. Orange City Police have sent a description of the man to law enforcement agencies in the area.
(Reporting by Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)