Police search for attempted kidnapper

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A peaceful neighborhood park turned into a nightmare Thursday afternoon when a strange man spooked a mother of two.

Detective Heather Reyda said, "He was saying beautiful girl, wow she's fair skinned, progressed into she's going to be a beautiful woman she's going to be a full figured woman. This is a two year old toddler baby."

The mother moved her family to different parts of the Sterchi Hill Park playground in north Knoxville several times, only to be followed by the man.

He even opened his arms to hug one of the children before running off.

Detective Reyda said, "He just takes off running and runs behind the play area between the tennis courts toward the subdivision."

Todd Asher lives in the subdivision and heard the news on Facebook. He said, "Really really scary for the kids and to think someone like that is around here. You just wonder where he came from if he lives here somewhere from out of town."

Asher said he didn't see anything suspicious but always watches children closely in the area.

The man did not do anything illegal, unless he's a sex offender. Investigators planned to speak with any that live in the area.
They're looking for a white man, 45 to 55 years old with brown eyes, gray balding hair and a closely trimmed gray beard. He's about six feet tall and 200 pounds.

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