Minor assault? Reported Carnation abduction attempt overblown, officials say

No one was harmed and no charges are expected as a result of a sidewalk confrontation in Carnation Thursday afternoon, Jan. 9.

The incident, reported by the 10-year-old boy who was involved, put Carnation Elementary School and local law enforcement on alert for the rest of the day.

Carnation Elementary School notified parents by e-mail of the incident Thursday afternoon, and put all after-school programs on lockdown, allowing only parents to pick students up at the end of the day.

The King County Sheriff's Office notified the school after receiving the report, but learned through investigation that it wasn't actually an attempted abduction.

"It didn't happen that way," said Sheriff's spokeswoman Cindi West by telephone Friday. "They basically got into an argument. Unfortunately, it kind of got blown out of proportion."

West said the boy reported the incident, which started when he walked in front of a man, talking on a phone, on the sidewalk. The man got angry and yelled at the boy, and may have grabbed his arm, but did not hurt him. Initially, the boy reported the man did grab him, West said, but his mother later wasn't certain that he had.

Officers didn't locate the man, and West said that charges were unlikely. "We don't even know for sure if the guy grabbed his arm," she said. "It sounds like, at the very most, a minor assault."

Carnation Elementary School had no additional information on the incident.


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