Last Monday, as an elementary student living in the Mountain Green area was getting off the bus, and walking home, a man in a grayish/ silver truck pulled up and the man in the truck told the young girl to “come here for a second.” The girl ignored him, and then took off running as the man got angry and threatened to hurt her if she didn’t obey.
She ran to neighbor’s houses into neighbor’s back yards, as she didn’t want the man to find where she lived. The bus driver had seen the man pass in the other lane, and noticed in rear view mirror break lights from the gray truck, stopping. The bus driver lost the visual of what was happening for a bit, as other cars passed, but then caught it again, and saw the girl running, so he called the suspicious incident into the school.
The school, after hearing the incident reported to the police officer Taylor who did an investigation. The man driving the suspicious vehicle was described as an older male age 40 to 60-ish, with long wavy reddish hair, thinning on the top, with a mustache and long goatee. He was of a stocky build, and fair skinned. There has been no repeat of the incident and the case is currently under investigation. There was an incident reported a few weeks ago, involving a young man waiting to get on the bus in the morning when a suspicious man pulled up by a mail box, and the child ran into his house. This was reported as a suspicious incident and is not believed to be related to the latest incident.
If anyone has any further information on this investigation contact the Morgan Sheriff’s department. The local authorities sent out information to all the school age parents through the school calling system. There is also a Morgan County Sheriff’s website for updates, and reporting. Sheriff.morgan-county.net and also on the social network of facebook under name Morgan county sheriff. Thank you to the local deputies for providing updated and accurate information.
5 Safety Tips
provided by The Morgan County Deputy Rob Taylor
1. Parents need to talk to kids about having a plan, in case of any emergency. Talk to kids about where they can go for help. “I have full confidence in this community that a child could go anywhere to get help.” Every child should have a block parent that is available that they can go to, in case of danger or emergency. Parents take the initiative to get with all your neighbors and establish a system to know who is home during the day that your kids could go to as a safety house.
2. Parents talk to your kids about staying away from strangers, the general rule about not talking to strangers. Kids are generally taught to be respectful and polite to adults,but talking or listening to strangers could back fire. Kids should keep the stranger danger red flags available in their minds and role play with a parent of what to watch for, and what to do.
3. When in a situation that doesn’t feel comfortable, learn to trust your gut instincts and get away from a potential harmful event.
4. We teach our kids not to hit, or kick, or scream or bite, but kids need to know that these are okay to use if a stranger or someone they don’t know gets too close to them. The best thing is for them to run, but if they don’t have that opportunity, then teach children to fight, and become an attacker on the attacker, bite, scream, scratch, dig, go for poking in the eyes, or whatever it takes so one can get away. The best rule is to never go close enough to a potential predator to have to use these personal defense weapons.
5. Call 9-1-1. Too often parents or kids think it has to be a major emergency to make this phone call. Many times, that phone call is the exact phone call the officers need to give them information to further their cause of getting potential criminals off the street. Try to teach kids to be observant, and to take note of license plates of vehicles. Perhaps look into different phone plans such as smart phones that have a tracking device that can help officers in finding the location of the incident. It’s always better to call and chance being wrong, then to let an incident go that could further hurt others.
Parent’s be aware of drop off and pick up times at bus stops. Try to put in a place a neighborhood guard where a trusted adult can be present for all drop off’s and pick ups. As a community we need to stay aware of all of school age children and their safety.