Police: Armed Attack on Kids in OC Park Was Robbery, Not Sex Crime or Kidnapping
Authorities in Orange County say an armed attack on two 12-year-old boys may have been a robbery, not the kidnapping and sexual assault attempt the circumstances may have first suggested.
The incident took place Sunday night on a playground in Ladera Ranch, when the boys were on the swings and approached from behind by a man with a knife. One boy got away, while the second was dragged off the swings and ordered to remove his pants and boxer shorts.
The second boy took his pants off but made a run for it right after when he diverted the suspect by throwing wood chips in his face.
Initially, investigators with the Orange County Sheriff's Department reached out to authorities in Whittier, because of the similarities the case presented to a kidnap attempt from a park there. However, now the OCSD says the crime may have been a robbery.
During interviews of nearby residents and visitors to the park, the OCSD "discovered a similar but previously unreported incident two days before," reports the OC Register.
In both those instances, the suspect ordered the victims to take off their pants in what authorities believe was a way to rob of them of the contents of their pockets. But why have the kid take off his boxers? Investigators theorize it was to keep the youngster from fleeing to report the robbery.
The OCSD does not want the community to fear there is a sexually-motivated kidnapper on the loose.
Additionally, the suspect's age has been revised from earlier reports; no longer thought to be in his twenties, the suspect is likely in his teens and much closer in age to his victims.
"Authorities are also examining 'grainy' video of a male matching the description of the suspect, riding a bicycle in the area where the attacks took place," notes the Register.
The suspect remains at large.