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Lawton Police Apologize for Giving No Public Information on Attempted Kidnappings

Some residents in Lawton are upset after learning police did not release information or warnings about two attempted kidnappings of children about two weeks ago by a man whose description is similar in both incidents.
Some residents in Lawton are upset after learning police did not release information or warnings about two attempted kidnappings of children about two weeks ago by a man whose description is similar in both incidents.

Thursday Lawton city officials and police addressed the concerns.

Police say the two attempted kidnappings happened within an hour of each other on October 16th.

The first took place in the south part of Lawton on Texas Avenue near 12th Street.

The second attempt was across town, in the 2100 block of Lindy Avenue.

Police say an 11-year-old girl was walking from a convenience store about a block from her home on Texas Avenue when a man grabbed her from behind, but she was able to get away.

A short time later at an apartment complex across town, police say another 11-year-old girl was playing outside of her apartment complex on Lindy Street when a man tried to lure her into his vehicle.

“He was just asking them to look inside the floor board, he was just trying to get them close enough to the car to push them in and drive off,” said Montrionne Allen, a maintenance worker at the apartment complex where the kidnapping took place.

Citizens became outraged because the Lawton police never put out an alert about the two incidents.

Today the police chief admitted the department had made a mistake, but he also explained why information hadn't been released earlier.

He said originally the descriptions of the two vehicles at the attempted kidnappings did not match, and didn't want to release incorrect information.

“There was still a whole lot more. But like I said before we tried to vet all that information before we put that out,” said Chief James Smith of Lawton PD. 

The chief says the department is working on ways to be more transparent and open.

They will start by making information available using the city's Everbridge system.

To register or for more information about the system go here: http://www.cityof.lawton.ok.us/alerts.htm

Police say they are still investigating the two attempted kidnappings and looking for the suspect.

They say it's a White or Hispanic man with a dark complexion.

They say he was driving a red four door vehicle with tinted windows.
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