Search continues for two different men who tried to attack children at different parks

by: Torie Wells Updated:


GASTONIA, N.C. - Families are on alert Tuesday as police search for two different men who tried to attack children at different parks.

The first incident happened on Saturday at McDonald Park in McAdenville.

The other incident happened at Martha Rivers Park in Gastonia on Sunday.

Channel 9 spoke with detectives who had finished interviewing the 14-year-old girl.

Between her interview and a tip they received, police say they have a promising lead.

The teen said Sunday evening she was walking on the trail around Martha Rivers Park in Gastonia when a man who is possibly Hispanic tried to get her to walk away with him.

The teen’s brother and a friend were a little ahead of her.

When she refused, he forced her to the ground.

She yelled and her brother and his friend came running over.

The man ran down a path that goes from the park to Riverwood Plantation.

The man jumped into a black SUV and drove off.

Police say on Saturday, another man dragged a 10-year-old into a wooded area at a park in McAdenville.

That child escaped.

Parents are shocked someone dared to do this in a park full of people.

"We were discussing it before the practice today. All the parents are really nervous and concerned," said Corey West, a parent who was at the park for his child's soccer practice.

West said he was at the park Sunday when police showed up.

"It was sort of a scary time, everyone got really quiet," he said.

Police do not have much of a description in the Gastonia attack, but Channel 9 is told it was a Hispanic man who was last seen driving a black truck.

Police say the suspect in the McAdenville attack was completely different.

Channel 9 is working to find out what police are doing to prepare for crowds of children who will be out trick-or-treating on Halloween.