PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles School District reported today two child luring attempts — the third and fourth stranger encounters since Jan. 9 — and called on parents to review safety precautions with their children.
A Stevens Middle School student was approached near her bus stop on Mount Pleasant Road early today by a man in a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee with a black cover over its spare tire, Clallam County Sheriff’s Sgt. Amy Bundy said.
The man — who was described as Hispanic in his 20s with short, black hair and no facial hair — tried to engage the girl before turned onto Henry Boyd Road, district officials said.
Bundy said the same man had approached the girl at least three times within the last two weeks, offering her rides and candy.
“I don’t believe this girl told anybody until today,” Bundy said today.
Bundy encouraged parents to speak with their children about being vigilant and to report encounters with strangers “every time, no matter how innocuous.”
Also this morning, a Jefferson Elementary School student who was walking to campus reported that he was approached by a woman who offered him a ride in the 2500 block of South Chase Street.
The student declined and the woman drove away, police said.
The woman was described as Caucasian, in her 20s with black hair.
“The student was unable to provide a description of the vehicle,” said Jeffery Ordona, Port Angeles Police Department school resource officer.
The school resource officer patrols campuses and provides a law enforcement presence while investigating cases that originate at schools or are related to schools in the city.
“Please take the time to speak with your children about the dangers of accepting rides from strangers,” Ordona said in a statement issued today.
Previously, a Roosevelt Elementary School student reported that a white man in his 30s pulled up beside him in a white work van as he was walking home on Third Avenue in Gales Addition on Jan. 9.
The boy, who was listening to music on headphones, could not hear the man but suspected that he said: “Do you want some candy?”
On Jan. 10, a Stevens Middle School student reported being approached in front of the school after wresting practice and was offered a ride by a man who drove away in a dark-colored minivan, police said.
The suspect was described as being a white male, about 30 years old, 6-feet-tall with blue eyes, a deep voice, mustache and brown hair with hair gel.
”Parents are strongly encouraged to review basic personal safety rules with their children, including the danger of accepting rides from strangers,” Port Angeles School District spokeswoman Patsene Dashiell said today.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.