Pacer Cordry, spokesman for the Canton Police Department, said Thursday afternoon that Canton police were dispatched to the church on Mission Point at about 10:50 a.m. after a woman called 911 to report that a man approached her and threatened to abduct her.
Cordry said the woman was walking along Reservoir Drive in front of the church when a man walked out of the woods and threatened her.
She told police she was frightened and ran across the road, flagged down a passing car and got in, Cordry said.
The woman told police the suspect was armed.
“She stated she saw a gun,” Cordry said. “I don’t know how the gun was used, if it was pointed or displayed or if she just saw it.”
The woman called 911 and left the area.
She was interviewed at the Canton Police Department, Cordry said, along with the driver who picked her up.
Canton Police Chief Robert Merchant said Thursday evening that no real developments had emerged since early afternoon, when his department had a command center set up next to the church, as they combed the area with officers and K-9s.
Merchant said the search had since been scaled back, but that they were still investigating the incident and hoped media coverage of the incident would generate leads in the case.
“We take things like this very seriously,” he said. “We will follow up and put some extra patrol in the area.”
The suspect is described as a white man in his early 30s and was last seen walking north from the church toward the Great Sky community, Cordry said.
Cordry said when he was last seen, the man was wearing a burgundy long-sleeve shirt, khaki ball cap, sunglasses and blue jeans.
Canton Police are asking for anyone who sees anything suspicious to call 911, but they are urged not to confront the suspect if they see him.
Cordry said Canton Police are also considering the option that the reports from the woman could be false, which is routine in such cases.