Threatened Students Outsmart Dangerous Strangers

Colena Mau, News Editor

Recently, the streets have become increasingly dangerous, even in broad daylight, for students of every age. Multiple kidnappings and student harassments by strangers have occurred in various cities in just this past year.

Just a few months ago on June 8, at 3:15 P.M., a psychology student from UC Riverside was kidnapped by former UCR student Donald Earl Rosenbek. The psychology student was unsuspecting and was walking to her car when Rosenbek came up behind her, threw a sheet over her head, tied her up, beat her a few times and put her into the back seat of his car. The student, however, remained calm and was successful in freeing herself. She was not only able to free herself, but she also succeeded in evoking Rosenbek’s emotions and guilt, causing him to give up on his crime and return her to the garage that he had taken her from.

After the incident, the student was able to identify her kidnapper’s appearance, facial features, and car to the police, enabling the police to find and arrest Rosenbek in a short amount of time.

This admirable student expresses and teaches a valuable lesson: to always keep your cool when dragged into dangerous situations, no matter how scary they may seem to be, since it could be the golden ticket to freedom.

Further from San Ramon, but even more recent, are the multiple incidents just a few weeks ago in Honolulu, Hawaii, where three students from Keoneula Elementary School, Waipahu Elementary School and Holomua Elementary school were approached by strangers who ordered the students to get into their cars. On three consecutive school days—September 18 to September 22—these vans targeted students who were either walking to or from school. Fortunately, all the students escaped by ignoring the strangers’ words, running away to safety, and informing their parents and other adults. The parents in the community are now more cautious about having their children walk alone and have decided to pick them up instead. KHON2 has reported that the Honolulu police are now urging parents to inform and warn their children about these dangers.

Just last year during the month of March, a similar incident occurred here in San Ramon, near Hidden Hills Elementary and Bollinger Canyon Elementary. A suspicious man approached a thirteen-year-old girl and constantly followed and waved to her for a few days. The girl chose to run away to the nearest area of safety and called her parents each time.

According to Patch, another kidnapping occurred in San Ramon when a 24-year-old man, Daniel Richard Medina, was arrested at the Extended Stay America for kidnapping an 18-year-old girl.  Medina was armed with a handgun and when the victim attempted to seek help, he threatened to shoot the witnesses and those who tried to intervene or report him.

Students, including those in San Ramon, need to be aware of their surroundings and on the watch for any potentially dangerous strangers who may be roaming around, either during the night or even during the day. Both the young and the old are at risk of being in such a situation. But if something like this really happens, remember how these other students have dealt with their situations. If it is not possible to run away, always stay calm and composed in order to think of your next, best-possible step in assuring your own safety.