Attempted kidnapping in Dubuque making people uneasy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Attempted kidnapping in Dubuque making people uneasy

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) - Robert Robbins, the man who allegedly grabbed an 11-year old girl in an attempt to kidnap her, appeared in Dubuque County Court this morning.

He's facing third-degree kidnapping charges, which could mean up to 10 years in prison for him if convicted.

The girl got away and the man is behind bars, but people in and around this community are still uneasy.

Connie Gassen has grandchildren at Irving Elementary School. She arrived nearly an hour early to pick them up after school.

"When it affects your kids, or your grandkids ... I was scared. I was kind of really upset," Gassen said.

And Abby Freiburger, who lives just blocks from the school, won't allow her six-year-old brother to walk home.

"He wants to walk home with one of his best friends Drew," she said. "And they were thinking about it, and I was like, 'Maybe one time where I drive and watch them walk.' But now, not this year for sure."

The fact that this attack happened in broad daylight has authorities concerned, too.

"All too often, we probably inappropriately assume this stuff happens in dark alleys at night at 2 or 3 in the morning," said Lt. Scott Baxter with the Dubuque Police. "And this is just a stark reminder that it can happen anywhere at anytime, so you best be prepared to deal with it when it does happen."

Officials from the Dubuque Community School District said this is a great time to continue the conversation of safety in homes across the city, and to start -- or to keep -- practicing safe habits when walking home.

"Being in groups and being able to be with others whenever possible," said Mike Cyze, Director of Community-School Relations. "You know, there's safety in numbers, that's certainly a component of it. When it comes to walking routes to and from school, to preselect a route. We encourage families to do that."

Robbins next hearing in court is set for Thursday, April 2.

Read the previous story here: http://www.kwwl.com/story/28623314/man-arrested-for-kidnapping-stated-intent-to-abuse-child
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