Surveillance video captures man grabbing young woman

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - Surveillance cameras captured the alarming moment a man attempted to grab and abduct a young woman in Coral Gables.

The video was recorded on Dec. 22, and shows the 24-year-old woman walking down the sidewalk near Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Aragon Avenue, at around 12:45 a.m. A man then walks up to her, puts his arms around her. He tries to carry her away, but she manages to break free and run off.

“It’s very frightening. It could happen to anyone. It could happen to one of your family members, it could happen to anybody,” said Coral Gables Police Sgt. Tom Salcedo.

“I can’t even believe people would do that,” said concerned resident Louise Brown. “It just makes me sick!”

Police stress the importance of the video. “It’s very important so everybody can be aware of what’s going on in their surroundings,” Salcedo said. “Even though this is a very peaceful city, it can happen anywhere.”

Police said in this particular incident, the man approached the young woman, said, ‘Hi, my name is Mike,’ and then tried to grab the victim. However, she was able to get away.

“We’re not that safe anymore,” said resident Michelle Kuri. “Things are changing because Coral Gables — it’s supposed to be super safe.”

Police warn anyone facing a similar situation, the best way to avoid danger is to flee and yell and scream for help.

Upon seeing the video, residents were visibly shocked. “I wouldn’t expect someone coming, almost kidnapping someone in front of our house,” said concerned resident Diego Sanchez. “That’s crazy. I live a couple blocks from here. That could be us.”

Cristina Rodriguez voiced her trepidation. “I’m scared,” she said. “I know that could be me, or my daughter, my friend, my neighbor, so it’s not a very comfortable, ideal situation.”

“Hopefully we catch this guy, and hopefully we can just put him behind bars,” Salcedo said. “The public is the only one that can help us out with this.”

Police hope to make the community aware of the incident and hope the video will lead to an arrest.

If you have any information on this attempted abduction, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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