Chapel Hill Police: Man tried to abduct students from Franklin Street school

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Thursday, August 17, 2017
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Richard Donnell Mangum

CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Chapel Hill Police arrested a suspect Wednesday that they said grabbed two students and tried to pull them over a fence at the Montessori Academy on Franklin Street,

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Teachers quickly intervened and broke up the incident. The man fled, but officers stopped the suspect a short distance from the school (near Walgreens) where he was arrested.

Richard Donnell Mangum, 48, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of simple assault, two misdemeanor counts of communicating threats, and two felony counts of child abduction

It happened shortly after noon Wednesday. Chapel Hill police officers responded to a report of a suspicious person at the Montessori Academy at 1510 E. Franklin St. The caller reported that a man had walked to the fence around the school and was threatening to physically harm students.

The man then grabbed two students and tried to pull them over the fence.

Children ages 1 through 6 attend the school.

People at nearby businesses told ABC11 that they have seen Mangum walking around the area in the past, but never suspected something like this would happen.

Mangum is being held at the Orange County Jail under a $40,000 secured bond.

His first court appearance is at 2 p.m. Thursday.