Grady official: It could happen anywhere

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer

Grady Schools Superintendent Joel Shipley believes Monday’s report of an attempted abduction of a teenage girl in Grady was an isolated incident.

Still, he said it shows small towns aren’t immune to potentially serious crimes.

“Grady is a safe, quiet little community, but bad things can happen anywhere. The chances of something like this happening again are very, very remote,” Shipley said. “We’re trying to relay to people not to panic — take it for what it was.”

The 14-year-old girl who reported the attempted abduction attends Grady, Shipley said.

“All indications are it was an opportunity — a couple of men that saw someone was walking by themselves. There is no indication whatsoever that this was planned — just a wrong place, wrong time type of deal,” he said.

He said Wednesday schools in the region were notified and law enforcement has increased patrols.

The victim told police she was walking to her grandmother’s house around 4 p.m. Monday when two white men in a dark-colored, older model van attempted to abduct her, according to a press release from the Curry County Sheriff’s Office.

Curry County Sheriff Matt Murray Wednesday night said the case remains under investigation and there have been no arrests in connection with the case.

Grady Mayor Wesley Shafer said he plans to ask the sheriff’s department to come to the next city council meeting to talk about forming a Neighborhood Watch program.

“It opened up our eyeballs a little bit,” said Shafer, in his third term as mayor. “It just shows bad things can happen in a small town, too.”

Shafer said Grady had a police department up until about six years when it was eliminated for financial reasons.

Clovis Municipal Schools spokesman David Briseno said the incident has heightened awareness among students, teachers and parents.

“I think that being a parent myself that’s always something in the back of your mind so we’re taking extra care to make sure our kids are safe,” Briseno said.