POLICE are trawling through CCTV footage as they investigate why a motorist grabbed the arm of a ten-year-old boy in York.
One officer tweeted “attempt child abduction” following the incident, which happened in Nether Poppleton.
Police said last night it was unclear what the man’s intentions were, but the matter was being treated as “suspicious.”
A North Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “The incident is clearly of concern and we need to find out why the man approached the boy, which is why it’s vital that the driver and any witnesses to the incident come forward.”
She said officers had checked out a number of cars in the area, while specially-trained staff had also spoken in detail with the child, who was physically unharmed but very upset.
The spokeswoman said the incident happened close to a bus stop in Millfield Lane, on the Poppleton side of the ring road flyover, between 3.15pm and 3.30pm on Friday, as the boy was cycling home along along a path next to the main road.
She said the motorist, believed to have been driving a dark green Vauxhall car, approached the child and asked for directions before getting hold of his arm and then driving off.
The boy went home, where he “did the right thing” by telling his mother what had happened, and she alerted police.
“It is known that there were a number of pedestrians and cyclists who went past the boy and the car as he was talking to the man,” she said.
“Officers are appealing for these people to come forward. Anyone who was using the cycle path and footpath on Millfield Lane between 3.15pm and 3.30pm on Friday is also urged to contact the police.
“There could be an innocent explanation for the incident and police are urging the man in the green car to contact the police and explain his actions.
“Officers would also like to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and witnessed the incident or who has any other information.
“Child abduction by strangers is very rare, but young people should be stranger aware and follow the advice they are given.”
She said the force’s advice for young people was: never go with a stranger, never take things from a stranger, never get in a car with a stranger and always tell your parents or carer where you are, who you are with and what time you will be home.
“If a stranger tries to touch you, tell them no. Get home or to a safe place as quickly as you can and tell your parents, carer or someone you trust straight away.”
Anyone with information on this incident should call 101 and ask for York CID, email Yorkcid@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111