CENTERVILLE — Police are asking for the public's help to identify a man who reportedly tried to kidnap a 12-year-old boy in Centerville as he walked home from his cousin's house Tuesday afternoon.
The sixth-grader told officers that about 4:45 p.m., a blond man with a tattoo on his neck offered the boy candy from a car at a crosswalk on 400 West near 1700 North, Centerville police said in a statement.
When the boy said no, the man grabbed him by his shirt and tried to pull him into his car, his mother, Tinisha Jensen, said Wednesday. The boy punched the man in the face and ran to a park nearby, where he hid behind a boulder for a time before running home, she said.
"He just hit him as hard as he could and took off," the mother said. Her son was shaken Tuesday night, but is doing OK.
When he was younger, the family coached the child on how to respond if someone tried to kidnap him, she added, saying she believed the scenario ended as well as it could have.
The boy told his mother another man walked by at one point, but no one else was around at the time. Police found no witnesses.
According to a description released by police, the man is about 30 years old and was driving an older, blue four-door sedan.
Police ask anyone with information to call 801-292-8441