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Suspect arrested in attempted abduction outside Thornton school

Diego James Gettler faces a charge of attempted second-degree kidnapping, which is a felony.

THORNTON, Colo. — A 28-year-old man faces a felony attempted kidnapping charge in connection with the attempted of abduction of a 10-year-old girl outside a Thornton school last week.

Thornton police released photos of a man they said grabbed a 10-year-old girl around 7:30 a.m. Friday outside STEM Launch K-8 at 9450 Pecos St.

The person attempted to grab the student, who fought back, alerted adults and was able to scare the suspect away. The student was safe and with her family, Adams 12 Five Star Schools said in a letter to families.

Thornton police said Diego James Gettler was arrested on Monday and is now in the Adams County Jail. He faces a charge of attempted second-degree kidnapping. His booking photo is not being released at this time.

Credit: Thornton Police

"It has us, well me as a parent, on high alert for everything," said Kerissa Quintana.

She took her three kids out of class on Friday after learning about the scary moments that took place outside their school.

"That's pretty scary to know that somebody's trying to kidnap kids and stuff, especially when it's right here," she said.

Credit: Thornton PD

Adams 12 Five Star Schools sent Quintana and other parents an email about the incident. It said, in part: 

We are writing to share an important update with you. A little before 7:30 a.m. this morning, a person attempted to abduct a student outside of STEM Launch. This person approached a student and attempted to grab her and remove her from the area. The student fought back, immediately alerted adults and was able to scare the suspect away. This student is safe and with their family.

“If they go to the park, I’m with them. If they go to school, I walk them. I pick them up," said Quintana.

She describes herself as a helicopter mom, a nickname she gladly adopts when it comes to her kids' safety. 

"Just make sure you keep an eye on your kids and keep them close and just know what's going on around you," she said. 

Anybody who may know something about this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 (STOP).

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