GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A man is being sought in connection to the attempted kidnapping of a 7-year-old girl in Gaston County Saturday.
Gaston County police say they are searching for a white man around 6′0″ with facial hair. He was wearing a bright orange shirt, gray shorts and boots.
A person fitting the above description was captured on surveillance video at a convenience store on Dallas-Cherryville Highway, which is not far from where the alleged attempted kidnapping happened, about 30 minutes before the attempted abduction.
That man, who was pictured operating a red and black Peace Sports moped, was interviewed by police and cleared of any involvement, police say.
The 7-year-old’s stepfather spoke to WBTV under the condition of anonymity Tuesday evening. He said he wasn’t around when the abduction attempt took place, but he knows his stepdaughter fought back.
“She kicked him and she hauled rear end. That’s about as much as I can tell you because I was not present at the time," said the stepfather.
He said the child did what she had been taught to do.
“I love her to death. She’s a hero. She’s my hero. She is my hero through and through," said the man.
Word of what allegedly happened has spread through the community. A woman who asked not to be named said she is going to be speaking to her child and her neighbors about the investigation.
“It may not be a little girl he tries to get next time," said the woman. "It might be a little boy and any time you’re dealing with a kid, there is a concern there.”
Police said the investigation is ongoing and asked anyone with information to call the Gaston County Police Department at 704-866-3320 or Crime Stoppers at 704-861-8000.