Attempted Kidnapping Victim Speaks

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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Springfield Police are looking for a man who they said tried to kidnap a woman near the West D Street boat landing. The victim said it was a terrifying experience and she’s hopeful sharing her story will make others more aware of their surroundings.

Leslie Thomas started her Saturday with a run on the bike path near Pre’s trail. “There were a lot of people on the path which was good. I try to run at times when there are a lot of people on the path,” said Thomas.

But as she was running on the path she went to pass a man on a bike. What happened next was something she never expected. “As I began to pass him he turned his front wheel of his mountain bike that he was on which he had stopped and was straddling, turned the front wheel towards me hitting my leg causing me to fall over,” said Thomas.

She said he then tried to pull her into some nearby bushes, but she fought back. “Threw a couple punches and hit him a couple times in the shoulder and when he let go I started to move backwards and he tried to grab me again and I ran back toward the boat landing,” said Thomas.

Police quickly responded but were unable to find the man who attacked her. While she’s still surprised this all happened in broad daylight, she’s not going to let this stop her from doing what she loves.

“I love being outdoors and it’s not going to make me stop enjoying my surroundings at all. But, I want for men and women to be more aware of their surroundings and if you start to feel like circumstances are suspicious and don’t feel right, then go the other way,” said Thomas.

Police said they’re calling this an attempted kidnapping because the man tried to force the woman to go somewhere against her will. So far, they haven’t found him yet.

He’s described as a white man around six feet tall between 32 and 38 years old. Police said he has short blonde hair and facial hair. He was last seen wearing a grey and white helmet, jeans, and a fanny pack.

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