Gardaí are currently appealing for witnesses following an attempted child abduction by a masked man and another person in Maudlintown on Sunday evening.
The incident occurred at approximately 7.15 p.m. on Sunday evening when a seven-year-old child and his brother were coming home from Maudlintown playground. Two men, one of whom was reportedly wearing a hat and a mask, are said to have approached the boy, who had walked ahead of the other children and was outside Maudlintown Community Centre. They reportedly grabbed the child’s hand and attempted to cover his face before telling him ‘you’re coming with us’. The child scraped his hand off a wall but managed to escape after he kicked one of the men and ran home. The two men were then seen by the child’s brother, who said they returned to a white van on Edenvale Avenue and drove away.
Speaking to this newspaper, the mother of the child, who wished to remain anonymous, described her reaction when her son came home.
‘I thought another child had done something to him when I saw all of the blood on his hand but then he told me that it wasn’t a child, it was a grown up,’ she said.
‘I was in total shock in first; in fact I still am. When I talk about it I wonder if it is really happening. I feel like I am talking about someone else. You read about these things in magazines and see it on the television but things like this don’t happen in Wexford town.’
‘He wasn’t even in the playground. He was only a minute away from his house.’
The mother reported the incident to the Gardaí, who she said arrived at her house the following morning.
According to the mother, her two sons go to the playground every day and this is the first time that any such incident has happened.
Despite this, she said she is constantly warning her children about the importance of personal safety and not talking to strangers.
‘I am always drilling it into him about strangers and about how there are people out there who could take him. I always tell him to just give them a kick but I never thought something like this would actually happen,’ she said. ‘I told him he was a very brave boy for doing what he did.’
Since the incident, the mother said she is trying to act as normal as possible.
‘I’m trying not to think about the what ifs because if I do, I’ll end up driving myself mental. I’m just happy that I have him. I was lucky. I think somebody was looking down on him,’ she said.
Though she said she doesn’t want to scare her young son, the mother said she wants to warn other parents about the incident.
‘I want the story out there so that people are aware that these people are out there,’ said the mother.
Sergeant Brendan Costello of Wexford Garda Station confirmed that the incident was reported to the Gardaí on Sunday and said that they are taking it seriously.
‘Inquiries are being carried out. We are appealing for witnesses and would appreciate their help,’ he said. ‘It’s a sensitive issue so we can’t say much more.’
(First published in the Wexford People newspaper: print edition. Also available online at: http://www.wexfordpeople.ie/news/he-said-youre-coming-with-us-34870367.html)