Amid an increasingly tense climate following the alleged revenge kidnapping and murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir last week, a Jerusalem man claimed on Wednesday to have been the target of an attempted abduction in the capital.
David L. Young, a 68-year-old retired English teacher and author, said that while walking to the local post office in the Baka neighborhood on Sunday afternoon, he had noticed a suspicious man standing beside the open door of a parked car.
“I was walking to the post office, which I have done for 20 years, and there was a gray sedan with the passenger door open, and a man who looked Arab stood by the door while another guy sat hunched over the driver’s seat,” he said.
“I never saw the guy in my entire life,” he continued. “He had a weird expression on his face, making it appear as if he was drunk or on drugs – certainly not a normal facial expression.”
Young described the man as medium-height, stocky and dark-skinned with short black hair, wearing a gray, shortsleeved shirt and dark pants.
“Just as I walked past the car, he grabbed my shoulders and attempted to throw me inside,” he said, adding that he had been so shocked by the attack that he’d let out an “enormous, instinctive shout,” which resulted in the man releasing him.
“It obviously unnerved him so much that he let me go,” he said.
Young then quickly walked away toward the post office.
When he turned around and saw that the man was not following him, he said, he was able to write down the license plate number of the vehicle.
“As I was doing so, the guy was looking at me and then got in the car, made a U-turn and drove off,” he recounted. “I called the police on my cellphone, and within three or four minutes there were three squad cars there. I gave them the license plate number and pointed out the direction they left.”
He claimed that a group of people had witnessed the attempted abduction, but “no one said or did anything.”
“There was no reaction at all,” he said. “Maybe they didn’t understand what was happening.”
During a subsequent 30-mintute inquiry at the Moriah police precinct near Talpiot, he continued, the officers asked him if he had any “problems with anyone,” to which he replied that he did not.
“After filing the complaint, I left, and they said if they need anything, they know where to find me,” he said. “I was pretty shaken afterward – I mean, I wasn’t expecting a guy to grab a 68-year-old off the street.”
Asked if he remained fearful, Young said he was more cautious now.
“I keep looking to see if that car is still around the area,” he said. “Of course, it could have been stolen.”
He added, “I just hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
A police spokesman said an investigation into the claim had been opened.