OKLAHOMA CITY – A 23-year-old woman is under arrest, accused of trying to kidnap a girl from school so she could fight the suspect’s niece.
Sharryell Dailey faces two attempted kidnapping charges after she and a 15-year-old girl walked into Telstar Elementary in March, looking for a 9-year-old student.
“When they found her, they allegedly grabbed her by the arm and tried to take her out of the school,” said Mark Opgrande, a spokesman for the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office. “She said ‘You’re coming with us.'”
According to court documents, Dailey was trying to get the victim to fight her 10-year-old niece, also a student at Telstar.
Teachers at the school heard the commotion and “threats to assault” the victim and ran to tell the principal.
“I think that’s what kept her safe is that we do know our children and we do know our dismissal procedures and parent preferences,” said Principal Vanessa VanTrease. “As soon as I heard [the victim’s] name, I ran, because I knew that, regardless of whether she was asking for a ride or worst case someone was trying to take her, she didn’t have permission to go with everyone else.”
VanTrease confronted the women as they tried to get the 9-year-old into the van and got them to leave.
But, the incident didn’t end there.
According to the police report, Dailey and the 15-year-old tried twice more to get the victim in their car when she left the building.
They grabbed at her again from their van, waiting outside the door.
Then, as the girl and other students walked home, the van pulled up next to them.
When the girl would not get in the van, the two women got out and started pushing her in an attempt to start a fight, according to the police report.
A few punches were thrown, but the 9-year-old told the suspects she didn’t want to fight anymore.
The two women then got back in the van, cursed at the victim and drove away.
Dailey was arrested Thursday and is being held on $100,000 bond.
It’s not clear if the 15-year-old will face charges.
“We take these all very seriously, and that’s why, when she was kicked out of the school and we found out about this, we immediately started our investigation,” Opgrande said.
The Telstar principal said her staff immediately reviewed and tweaked the end-of-school dismissal policies.
Teachers and staff have been told to be more vigilant and question everyone who enters the school.
Students have been reminded about the danger of strangers.
But, at the end of the day, VanTrease said it was ultimately her staff’s reactions that kept the girl safe.
“I think their quick actions and them watching and being aware of what was going on in the building helped thwart them,” she said. “I’m proud of our staff for being so aware. I’m proud that law enforcement is there. I think everyone has worked together to keep our children safe, and we’re very fortunate to avert what could have been a tragedy.”