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9-year-old boy comes to his friend’s aid during attempted abduction

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GLADSTONE, MO (WDAF) -- A nine-year-old boy is being credited for saving his seven-year-old friend from an attempted abduction.

Police in Gladstone, Mo., say the incident happened Monday morning while the kids were taking a short cut through a park to get to summer school.

Luke Larson said he heard his friend call out his name and scream, 'Help!' That's when Larson said he saw a man grab his friend from behind.

"I started running down toward them, he tried to grab her again, then he realized I was coming down and he ran back into the woods," Luke recalled.

Gladstone Police Captain Jeff Self says the kids did what law enforcement encourages them to do.

"We tell kids if you were approached by a stranger or grabbed to scream, yell, get attention, and that's exactly what they both did," Cpt. Self said.

Larson says he's proud of his actions, but he doesn't want to be considered a hero. Police say they've beefed up patrols in the area to make sure kids are safe going to and from school. Police are urging parents to talk with their children about this incident and encourage them to walk in groups, stay in main roads and avoid short cuts.

By Monica Evans