CLEVELAND - Another attempted luring of a child has a local family on edge and police on alert.
Thirteen-year-old Angelina Campogni spoke with Fox 8’s Lorrie Taylor with her mother’s approval so other children could be warned. She said she survived the ordeal because her mother, Crystal Campogni, coached her many times on how to respond if approached by a stranger.
“Everyone’s always told me to watch my surroundings and to be careful and to always be aware,” said the teen.
Angelina said she was headed home from Cleveland’s William Cullen Bryant School around 3:40 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Her instincts told her something wasn’t right about a white SUV pulling to the curb on Oak Park Avenue near State Road. The truck, which Angelina said looked like an old Ford Explorer with a rusty front end, was facing the wrong way on the same side of the street where she was walking.
“So when I seen him park I know I didn’t see anyone get out of the car, the first thing I thought was I had to be careful and I had to watch myself,” she said.
The teen said the driver ordered her into his SUV while another man watched from the back seat.
“I still can’t get his voice out of my head,” said the emotional girl.
She described the driver as a young white man with a raspy smoker’s voice and an orange hat.
“He had longer black hair and he had a lot of like acne on his face cause it was really red,” she recalled.
Angelina said she took off running as the truck followed. She rounded a corner and was able to hide before the SUV could catch up. She remembered the driver calling to her as he slowly cruised by.
“I didn’t know if I was gonna make it or if they would have got me, what would have happened if they would have got me,” she said.
“I can’t imagine hurting a child or taking someone’s child or I just couldn’t imagine going through that and knowing that I almost could have, is scary enough, you know,” said Campogni.
Both mother and daughter were committed to warning their neighbors so that no other parent or child would endure what they’ll never forget.
“I don’t want any other kid to feel like this or anyone at all. Cause now I actually know how it feels to have it stuck in your mind and to feel trapped like you can’t get away from it,” said the 13-year-old.
Cleveland police are investigating.