CORRECTION: Adam Cresser’s name was incorrectly spelled as Cressler in the article. The misspelling has been corrected.

MUSTANG, Okla., (KFOR) – Mustang police are asking for assistance identifying a suspect and vehicle from an attempted abduction of an eight-year-old girl near her home, around 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, in the 600 block of West Elder Drive.

Investigators identified the suspect as a white male, approximately 20 to 30 years old, with brown hair, a beard and brown eyes.

The man, last seen wearing a white hoody and no pants, lured the young girl into a subcompact, silver car, where he tried to force her to touch his genitalia.

“I guess he came by twice,” said the girl’s father, Adam Cresser. “The first time he asked directions to the high school. And then he came by again, asked again for directions and said he had a puppy…and it went down in a terrible [way] after that,” he added.

“He actually grabbed her, pulled her into the car and she started screaming,” he continued, visibly shaken. “It’s just something you just don’t get ready for. I’m glad of my daughter’s safety, but it’s just terrible.”

Possible abduction case
Credit: Mustang Police FB Page

Fortunately, the girl was able to escape and run home where her mother called the authorities.

“We are asking our community for extra diligence and assistance in the identification of the suspect,” said Rob Groseclose, Mustang Police Department’s Chief of Police. “With [the public’s help] we are hopeful to bring this criminal to justice.”

Mustang Public Schools opted to send the below letter to parents Thursday afternoon to help get the word out and share recommended safety precautions:

Mustang Families,

The safety of our students and staff is of paramount priority and we are writing today to inform you of an incident that took place yesterday, and to pass along a request for help from our law enforcement partners.

Mustang Police are asking for assistance identifying a suspect and vehicle from an attempted abduction in the 600 block of W. Elder Dr. The incident occurred yesterday evening, March 23, 2022, at approximately 5:45pm. The suspect, a white male, 20-30 years of age, had brown hair, a beard and brown eyes, lured a young juvenile to his vehicle where he attempted to abduct the juvenile and force the juvenile to touch him. Fortunately, the juvenile was able to escape and alert authorities. If anyone has any information, they are asked to contact Detective William Carpenter by calling (405) 376-7733 or (405) 376-2488.

Although this did not happen at or during school, we are thankful for our law enforcement partners for alerting us and allowing us to help get the word out concerning this situation. In light of the above situation, we would like to take this opportunity to remind parents and students to report suspicious activity. Additionally, we encourage you to please review the following stranger safety precautions with your children:

  • Whenever feasible, children should walk in groups or pairs rather than alone;
  • If someone follows them on foot, children should get away as quickly as they can by going to someone’s house they know or run toward other people;
  • If a car pulls beside a child, the child should turn around and go in the opposite direction if they do not know the driver and/or if the driver makes the child feel uncomfortable;
  • Children should avoid shortcuts through empty parks, fields, or alleys;
  • Children should be taught to recognize suspicious behavior and remember a description of the person or vehicle to give to the police.

We encourage parents/ guardians to reinforce these tips with their children and to ask them to take the same precautions during non-school hours and on weekends. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact your child’s building principal. As always, we sincerely appreciate your continued partnership, support, and understanding.

Mustang Public Schools

Jennifer Newell, who serves as the Director of School Safety and Security, spoke with KFOR, echoing the importance of speaking with kids about stranger safety, saying that kids should always “be leery of people or anybody in a car approaching.”

“Big people shouldn’t ask little people for help or for young kids for help,” she said about the school’s guidance to students. “[It’s] just as a reminder not to be fearful, but to be aware.

“The good thing is, is within our school system for our younger kids, we teach a program called ROAR.”

ROAR is a program through Oklahoma City’s Care Center that teaches children ages four to eight about body-safety and how to protect themselves from abuse.

Heading out to meet his family, Adam Cresser said his family would be making changes to their daughter’s routine.

“We’re going to have a couple of different more rules… if she’s going to a friend’s house. We’re definitely going to be walking with her or dropping her off,” he said.