VACAVILLE (CBS13) – Parents at Cooper Elementary School in Vacaville were notified of an attempted kidnapping Thursday morning via text message.
According to a statement released to CBS13 from a Vacaville Unified School District spokesperson, parents and staff members received the text immediately after school administrators called Vacaville PD, assuring them there was no safety issue on campus.
Vacaville PD and administrators did not put the school on lockdown because police officers “had the situation handled.”
Later in the day the district sent a text message and email to parents and staff members with a copy of the police department’s news release.
56-year-old Aileen Caringal was arrested and booked into jail on charges of kidnapping and trespassing on a school campus while interfering with children.
She’s accused of approaching a four-year-old boy and asking him if he was ready for school, then grabbing his hand and leading him away from campus. The boy was there with his stepparent, who was dropping off an older child.
When the stepparent questioned her, Caringal said she was the boy’s teacher and referred to him as “Brian,” which is not the boy’s name. Officers said while the parent was able to grab the boy from her, Caringal followed them and continued insisting she was the boy’s teacher — going as far as threatening to call the police if she was not allowed to take the boy away.
A staff member took the child inside the school as the stepparent waited for police. Caringal then ran into a nearby home, later identified as her house.
Police said Caringal was also taking pictures of vehicles and people in the area and at one point attempted to open the car door of a vehicle as a parent was dropping their child off for school.
Vacaville Unified said Friday, “The actions police took ensured the safety of our students, staff and parents on campus. We’ve received no complaints regarding our communication process or how site and district administration handled the situation. We’ve only received positive feedback from parents regarding the way Tina Ahn, our Principal at Cooper Elementary, handled the incident.”