Oakland Police Seek Suspect in Lake Merritt Area Kidnap Attempt

A stranger grabbed a 19-year-old woman and dragged her down the sidewalk about 8:30 p.m. on New Year's Day.

Oakland police are searching for a man who attempted to kidnap a 19-year-old woman near Lake Merritt on New Year's Day, according to an advisory issued by the Oakland Police Department this morning (Monday).

The woman was walking in the 200 block of 17th Street (near Jackson Street, about two blocks from Snow Park) about 8:30 p.m. when she was approached by a stranger who had appeared from between two parked cars, police said.

The suspect wrapped both arms around the woman, told her that he had a gun  
and began dragging her down the sidewalk, police said.

Both fell to the ground, causing the man to release his victim, who was able to run away, police said. The man fled the area.

The suspect is described as an African-American male, mid-20s to early 30s, 5’7”- 5’8”, 180 pounds, medium complexion. He was wearing a gray hooded parka that covered his head and dark pants. He had a strong odor of cigarettes.

Oakland Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest in this case.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Youth and Family Services Section at (510) 238- 3641 or the Tip Line at (510) 637-0298. 

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