Libraries pushing safety measures after attempted kidnapping

Elroy Community Library (KXAN Photo)
Elroy Community Library (KXAN Photo)

DEL VALLE, Texas (KXAN) — Some parents are feeling anxious after two separate attempted kidnappings inside a central Austin public library.

Police said Hubert Powell tried to sexually assault an 8-year-old girl in the women’s restroom at the North Village Branch Library. They also say Powell tried to grab and take another 11-year-old on Saturday afternoon.

At Elroy Community Library in Del Valle, the cameras all around the library give parents some peace of mind.

Signs warning parents not to leave children alone.

The library also has signs posted warning parents not to leave their children alone.

“Everyone just keeping an eye on everyone here so I do feel safe bringing my children here,” mom Lucy Gonzales said while there with her two children.

The Gonzales family can be found at the local library several nights a week.

When Gonzales heard about the attempted kidnappings she immediately thought about her 12-year-old daughter.

“We’ve been talking about safety and just being in the bathroom you know to scream if she needs help,” said Gonzales “She always has a phone on her.”

The librarian says if a child is alone then they can go as far as calling the sheriff’s office to take the child into custody until the parents are found.

For parents like Gonzales it now means being even more alert.

“You just don’t ever know that person — that bad person — might walk in and through that door and bad things happen,” said Gonzales.

KXAN checked with other cities like Cedar Park and Round Rock and were told their public libraries also have cameras and rules about leaving children alone.

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