Peninsula News

School assesses procedures after attempted kidnapping

Monday, September 24, 2012

Changes are under way at one San Mateo school after a 9-year-old girl was taken by a stranger. Fortunately, the little girl escaped by kicking the man and running back to the school. Police have made an arrest.

Parents wanted answers Monday morning after an attempted child abduction at Parkside Elementary School last Friday.

"I was just very surprised that someone could go into the campus and take a child out of their school, which should be a safe place," parent Brenda Corzantes said.

San Mateo police say the girl managed to kick the man and run back to school. The school district alerted parents immediately through an auto dialing service.

Monday morning, teachers met with their students to go over safety procedures.

"Buddy system when we go to the bathroom, nobody goes anywhere alone, don't play in unattended areas of the playground and if you see anyone with a badge tell an adult immediately," San Mateo-Foster City School District spokesperson Molly Barton said.

Police say in addition to the attempted abduction, that same day, 25-year-old Bradley Mrozek went to another nearby elementary school but was escorted off campus. According to the investigation, Mrozek also offered alcohol to some students walking home from Bayside Stem Academy.

In 2010, Mrozek was convicted of drunk driving in San Mateo County.

"At this point, the range could run from kidnapping down to simply child annoyance," San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. "That's a broad range of charges and we'll make that assessment tomorrow after we've completed our review."

Officials from the San Mateo-Foster City School District met with parents Monday to assure them there will be changes, including putting up more fences and gates.

"That everyone have a badge, a visitor's badge; we're going to essentially close the campus so there is only one way in and one way out," Barton said.

Parents are also being asked to be vigilant.

"So, I'm hoping it's a wakeup call for all of us to be more involved, but you never know when something like this can happen again," Corzantes said.

Anyone with information about Friday's incidents should notify the San Mateo police at (650) 533-7700.

Sources say Mrozek was arrested Friday eveningafter detectives over the phone convinced him to go to police headquarters.

Police have not yet released Mrozek's picture because they don't want to taint any potential witnesses.

The girl was at school Monday and reportedly in good spirits.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
san mateo, foster city, children, crime, peninsula news, lyanne melendez
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