Sex offender arrested after attempting to kidnap boy at Black Forest Hills Elementary in Aurora, police say

The suspect had white powder on his face and “smelled like alcohol,” according to an arrest affidavit
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Posted at 1:25 PM, Apr 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-23 15:37:55-04

AURORA, Colo. — A registered sex offender was arrested Friday after attempting to kidnap a boy from an elementary school in Aurora, police said Monday.

The incident happened during recess as children were playing in the playground of Black Forest Hills Elementary in Aurora, located at 25233 E. Glasgow Dr.

Surveillance video from the school showed the suspect – 33-year-old Solomon Galligan – trying to grab a boy while children were playing on the field, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Denver7 Monday.

Galligan was wearing a blue hoodie with dark pants and was holding a white blanket, surveillance video showed. He could also be seen walking up to the children on the field before the kids started running away from him, police said in a probable cause statement, adding Galligan tried to lunge toward a boy as the group of children ran away from him.

The affidavit states the boy was able to escape from the suspect after Galligan tripped over the white blanket he was holding and fell to the ground as he attempted to walk toward the group of children a second time.

As he walked toward them, Galligan realized the kids were yelling “stranger danger” to alert the adults at school, the probable cause statement reads.

Galligan, realizing the kids were yelling to get the attention of school staff, turned around the walked out of the school, police said.

The suspect had apparently climbed through a three-foot high, split rail fence that separated a public sidewalk from school property. The fence surrounds the south side of the school where children play in the playground, the affidavit states.

Based on witness statements and surveillance video, police identified the suspect as a Black man wearing a blue hoodie with letters on it, who had long dreadlocks and dark pants. The children also told police he was holding a white blanket and had white powder on his face, and that he “smelled like alcohol.”

A parent later told school staff that they saw a man matching the suspect’s description at the Walgreens located at 24250 E. Smokey Hill Rd., which is located about 2 miles northwest of the elementary school.

Galligan was taken into custody and taken to Adventhealth Hospital, where staff said he was admitted “for suicidal ideations,” according to the arrest affidavit.

A background search by police revealed Galligan was a registered sex offender who was convicted in late December 2011 for non-consent sexual contact in Denver. He was also on probation for failure to register as a sex offender.

He was placed under arrest for attempted second-degree kidnapping at around 5:48 p.m., according to the affidavit.

In a latter to parents, an official with the Cherry Creek Schools District asked parents to remind their children to be watchful as they walked to and from school, to walk in pairs or with friends, and to avoid talking with and to never accept a ride from strangers. The official reminded students to report anything suspicious to police or a trusted adult at school.

“We thank our law enforcement partners for their swift response and ongoing communication as they investigated this incident. The School Safety Team will convene Monday to review security protocols as is our usual procedure after any safety incident,” the district officials said. “To ensure students feel safe outside at recess, there will be increased supervision this week and staff will talk with students to reinforce safety practices.”

Officials asked anyone to report potentially dangerous behavior or “anything that could put students at risk,” to Safe2Tell.

“The safety of our students is always our highest priority,” the official wrote.

Denver 7+ Colorado News Latest Headlines | April 22, 11am

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