Magazine article The New American

Neighborhood Watch

Magazine article The New American

Neighborhood Watch

Article excerpt

On the afternoon of August 12, a 12-year-old Salt Lake City, Utah, girl was walking in her neighborhood when she noticed a man in a parked vehicle staring at her and pulling his pants' zipper up and down. She started to run, but the deviate drove ahead of her, stopped, opened a car door, and ordered her into the car.

Rather than comply, the young girl dashed to a nearby house and pounded on the door. When there was no answer, she ran across the street to another home and did the same. Her would-be abductor drove away, but alert neighbors noted the car's description and license number, then called police. The information was dispatched to officers in the vicinity.

Salt Lake residents Betty Leithead and Ellie Hall, both 78, who were on patrol together as members of a volunteer Mobile Watch neighborhood crime-fighting program, also heard the alert on their police scanner.

In an interview for the August 14 Deseret Morning News, Leithead recalled, "We heard on our scanner that someone had accosted a child, exposed himself, and ... was in a tan Buick." When she and Hall turned a corner, they "found themselves behind a car matching the description." They had not heard the license plate number, so they called police. When a dispatcher gave it to them, they realized they had a match.

Leithead added that the suspect "went east, then he went south, then he went east again. We were just two old ladies in a car, so he didn't notice us at all. …

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