Parents' concerns after six-year-old boy 'grabbed by masked man' on way to school

The incident occurred close to Dewsbury Fisheries at around 8:45pm
The incident occurred close to Dewsbury Fisheries at around 8:45pm

A masked man grabbed a young boy walking to school in an attempt to abduct him, the child's parents have said.

The six-year-old was walking to school with his mother and three-year-old brother when the terrifying incident occurred on Friday morning.

The boy's family say he was at the corner of Crackenedge Lane and Battye Street in Dewsbury when the unknown man grabbed him by the arm in what they fear was an attempted abduction.

Luckily, the child was uninjured, although the incident left him and his family shaken.

Luke Carbutt, 30, the boy's father, said that the man had approached his son while his partner had been distracted by his misbehaving brother.

He said the family have been shaken up by the nerve-wracking incident and that they fear the incident may have been an attempt to abduct him.

"It's been awful," he said, "my partner is very shaken up by it as you'd expect.

"The whole thing went by in seconds and she just looked up to see a man with a masked face grab his arm.

"She shouted at him and he ran off. She heard the sliding of a door and he was gone.

"You just don't know what to think do you? Why my child? What might have happened?"

A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson confirmed they are investigating the incident.

A statement said: "Police are appealing for witnesses after reports of a man acting suspiciously on Crackenedge Lane in Dewsbury this morning.

"The incident happened at 8.45am when a young child was walking along the road with a parent.

"The male approached the child, was challenged by the parent and then ran off.

"A man officers want to speak to in connection with the incident is described as wearing all black clothing and a black bandana on his face. He was of slim build and quite tall.

"Uniformed officers and detectives have been urgently dispatched to the scene and are conducting a range of enquiries.

Chief Inspector Ben Ryder said: “Any report of this nature will cause significant concern, particularly to parents and I want to reassure everyone that no stone will be left unturned in our pursuit to understand what has happened and who is responsible.

“Significant numbers of police officers and support staff are currently at the scene and in the local area (including local schools) to reassure parents and young people that they can get home safely.

“This is the first report of such an incident in the area and it is important the public know that we are taking it very seriously.

“When we have a clearer picture of what has happened we will issue updates about the incident in the local media and on our website and social media channels.

“I would always urge anyone with information about a crime to call police immediately – and to use the 999 number if a crime is in progress.”