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A group of middle school students bravely stopped a man from kidnapping their classmate while waiting at a school bus stop, police say
By Kenneth Niemeyer,
Maryland middle schoolers helped their classmate break free from a man later charged with attempted kidnapping.
Police arrested a 31-year-old man in connection with the incident on Monday.
"Several students who were standing at the bus stop attempted to intervene and the victim was able to break free," police said.
A group of Maryland middle schoolers sprung into action to stop someone from attempting to abduct one of their classmates while the group was waiting for the school bus, according to local police and news reports.
Several students were standing at their bus stop early Monday morning in when a man grabbed one of the children and pulled them toward an apartment building, the Montgomery County Police Department said in a statement . The incident occurred in Gaithersburg, Maryland, roughly 22 miles from Washington, DC.
"Several students who were standing at the bus stop attempted to intervene and the victim was able to break free," police said. "When the school bus arrived, all the students boarded the bus and the incident was reported to school staff."
The Redland Middle School community engagement officer soon arrived to respond to the incident, according to authorities. Police arrested a 31-year-old Maryland man, Jamaal Germany, in connection to the incident. He was charged with attempted kidnapping and second-degree assault, according to court records . Both charges are misdemeanors.
The MCPD did not immediately return Insider's request for comment on Tuesday.
An attorney for Germany was not listed on court records at the time of publication but shows he is represented by the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, which did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Local news station WJLA obtained a letter from the Montgomery County Public School District that was sent out to parents following the incident. The letter says that an individual tried to "pull" a Redland Middle School Student "into a residence" but the student "was able to get away and board the school bus as it arrived."
The school district increased the presence of district employees and MCPD officers at the affected bus stop after the incident, the outlet reported, citing the district's letter.
The school district did not immediately return Insider's request for comment on Tuesday.
Three people who live near the bus stop told WJLA that Germany has yelled at them and tried to kick in one of their doors over the past few days. The residents spoke to the station anonymously because they said they feared retaliation.
"I have a high school student, and she catches the bus early in the morning, and apparently he was at the bus stop last week doing the same thing," one anonymous neighbor told the outlet.
A trial for Germany is scheduled for May, according to court records.
According to the FBI , 546,568 people were reported missing to the agency in 2022. The FBI data does not have a record of how many reported missing persons cases were confirmed as actual kidnappings or abductions.
On average, the FBI says that fewer than 350 Americans under the age of 21 have been abducted by strangers per year between 2010 and 2017, Reuters previously reported.
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