Teen tells of narrow escape

2017-07-31 13:40
Frantic parents looked for boy who got into strangers' car.

Frantic parents looked for boy who got into strangers' car. (File)

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A 13-year-old boy on Sunday recounted his narrow escape following his alleged abduction by unknown men not far from his home late last week.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, said he and a friend had walked to Oribi to “hang out” as usual after school last Thursday.

When they began walking back home it was already getting dark. He had left his friend at his house and then began running back to his parental home to try to beat the darkness. En route he was stopped by the occupants of a black BMW car with an ND registration.

“The two men in the car called me closer and asked for directions to a shop in Oribi,” he said.

The boy said the men asked him to accompany them to a certain store in Oribi.

They asked him initially to follow them on foot, but after a while requested him to get into the car.

“I did not think much of it so I just followed them thinking they really needed help,” he said.

Once he got into the car and directed them to the shop they were looking for the young lad said instead of taking him home, as he asked them to, the men drove into town.

They parked in Burger Street near McDonald’s and were “talking in a foreign language”. They locked the car doors when they left him to buy food at a pizzeria.

On their return the boy said he told the men he needed the toilet as he wanted to escape.

They initially refused but then said he should look for a toilet at the McDonald’s centre.

The teenager said he ran away and crossed the road at the traffic lights, with the men chasing him after him and shouting at people to stop him.

“A man came out of nowhere and grabbed me and handed me over to those two men. They started kicking me and dragged me to the car.

“As the other one opened the door, I managed to free myself from the grasp of the man holding my wrist and ran down the road,” recalled the boy.

He managed to evade them and ran to a petrol station in Chief Albert Luthuli Street. However, he was so shaken that he was scared to ask for help as he no longer trusted anyone, and decided to sleep in a nearby bushy area till morning.

He then made his way home.

The boy’s father said he and his wife started to panic when by 7.30 pm the child had not come back home.

“We went to look for him at his friend’s house and he told us he last saw him when they were walking home around 5.30 pm.

He said they had searched at the homes of relatives and other friends but there was no sign of him.

The father said they opened a case of a missing person at the Alexandra police station at around midnight.

“On Friday morning we went to his school and asked his friends where he was but no one knew. We continued looking for him around the Pelham area.” he said.

The boy said when he reached Pelham shops the following morning he saw his father’s car and “ran to him in relief”.

The boy was later treated for shock and minor injuries at Edendale hospital and is receiving counselling.

“We are happy our boy is back home. I could not eat or sleep thinking something had happened to him,” his father said.

The father cautioned other youngsters against wandering around on the streets especially at night, speaking to strangers and accepting lifts in unknown cars.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese confirmed that a missing persons case had been opened in connection with the matter.

“We are still investigating this matter further,” said Ngobese.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  child abduction

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