Safety first after attempted kidnapping

On Sept. 17 between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. a man in a dark red sedan attempted to abduct a 12-year-old female. The student was reported to be walking to Canyon Middle School when a man stopped her on Cull Canyon Road and repeatedly asked the girl if she wanted a ride. When she refused, he followed her for several hundred feet before the girl hurried to her school and notified her principal.

This is personally rather surprising. Though Castro Valley has been affected by a few unexpected incidents the past year, the attempted abduction only causes us to question the safety of our neighborhoods. I have always thought of Castro Valley as the dreary and “tame” town where people wake up, eat, work, eat, and sleep—a daily routine without interventions of any special news.

I walk home every day after school. Though my home is only a ten-minute walk from the school, I find myself feeling wary and a lot more alert about all movement around me. I feel paranoid about my daily walk home because not many students walk the same path. It’s an overreaction that I’m certain will die down but until then, I feel like the safe bubble I’ve had in Castro Valley had been popped.

My only suggestions are to find a walking buddy and to take care in paying attention to the surroundings. Blasting music on the highest level while walking alone in a deserted neighborhood may make one less aware of his or her surroundings. Though incidents like these are rare in small and peaceful Castro Valley, they do happen, and it’s best to take precautions beforehand. Better safe than sorry.

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