| Man tries to snatch child at health club - Child-care worker
noticed immediately something was amiss
BELLEVUE -- Police fear a man tried to abduct a 5-year-old girl from
the child-care area of Bally Total Fitness in Bellevue on Tuesday night.
The child's mother left her daughter with a child-care supervisor while
she worked out at the fitness center at 3235 148th Ave. S.E. -- between
Bellevue Community College and Interstate 90.
`A bunch of red flags'
Shortly after 7 p.m. a man approached the child-care supervisor and
said he wanted to pick up his daughter.
The girl was the only child under supervision at the time. The man didn't
use the girl's name, and the supervisor is acquainted with her parents,
so she was immediately suspicious.
When the supervisor asked to see the man's wristband parents are supposed
to wear, ``He said `I'm sorry' and walked away nervously,'' Bellevue police
spokeswoman Marcia Harnden said.
``There were a whole bunch of red flags,'' Harnden said.
The suspect is described by police as an Asian man in his late 20s or
early 30s, about 5-foot-4 and 150 pounds with spiked bleached hair and
brown teeth. The girl's parents told police they don't know who the man
Bally uses wristbands as a safeguard against children being kidnapped.
Both the parent who is exercising and the child being taken care of are
given matching wristbands so child-care workers can confirm the child is
going home with the right person.
The child-care supervisor immediately called police, but employees did
not follow the man and do not know if he drove or walked off the Bally
``Our employees are well-trained and made sure this was a non-incident,''
said Dave Southern, spokesman for Bally Total Fitness. He declined to discuss
details of the case.
But police are treating this as a serious incident as they search for
the suspect and try to prevent him from attempting another kidnapping.
Police don't know yet how the man got inside the fitness center or whether
he is a member at Bally.
ATTEMPTED CHILD KIDNAPPING EASTSIDE DAY CARE CHILDREN SAFETY