Building managers dispute attempted abduction report in Overland Park, call it purse snatching

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A woman on her way into work in Overland Park says someone tried to abduct her in the parking lot of an office building in the 10500 block of Barkley Street.

The alleged attack happened at 7:15 a.m. Friday.

“She deployed her pepper spray, she sprayed the suspect but in the process also sprayed herself,” Overland Park Police Officer John Lacy said.

But the spray was enough to get him to run away towards Metcalf Avenue. Police searched the area but couldn’t find the man or any getaway vehicle. Police say they are looking for a white Buick which had been reported as suspicious in the area previously.

The woman was treated for cuts to her face and that pepper spray, but didn't require a hospital visit.

The brazen attack in an area where hundreds work came as a shock to surrounding businesses.

“That’s crazy it’s really sad about situations today, you got to be really safe and go in numbers,” said Cathy Lambert who had arrived to work in the parking lot just moments before the attack.

Building managers did their best to ease workers fears, saying they don’t think the stranger in their parking lot was trying to abduct her. Robin Cantrell said she exchanged emails with the property manager, who was getting her info directly from the victim's employer.

“The bottom line is she went to spray him with mace, and tripped and he tried to get the purse and didn’t and ran off, that’s the story,” she said.

But police are urging everyone to use caution, saying it was a crime of opportunity, and attackers often try to strike again.

“This is a high-traffic area, there are people jogging in the area, people going to their cars, so the person who did this is very bold in my opinion,” Officer Lacy said.

The attacker is described as a tall skinny white man, probably around 6’2 in height wearing a black or dark blue hoodie with a logo on the front.

If you have any information you are asked to call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.