Back-to-school Abduction Alert By Police
August 26, 2013 — Michigan City police are notifying school childrens’ parents and the larger community today about a suspicious vehicle and its driver who approached a 10-year-old Michigan City student with an offer of a ride to school.
The Michigan City Police Department says the incident occurred around 8:20 a.m. while the boy was walking near Broadbrook and Dorchester in the Village Green neighborhood. Police say the student was walking to Knapp Elementary School when he was approached by a white man driving a dark purple van.
Police describe the driver as a white male with a short beard, who drove the van alongside the student and reportedly asked “Do you want a ride?” Police report that the boy immediately ran to a safe location and made contact with an adult.
The Police Department says its reporting officer met with the student, a parent and Knapp School to inform the school principal of the incident.
Michigan City Police Superintendent Mark Swistek says, “Working in concert, the Michigan City Area School system and the Michigan City Police Department are notifying all area news outlets and the parents of our Michigan City Area Schools Elementary students. The following safety tips are being sent to the parents and students:
- Make sure children walk or bike to school (or any other location) with a friend.
- Walk the route to and from school with your children, pointing out safe places to go if they’re being followed or need help.
- Teach your children to ask permission before leaving home or playing outside. Make sure they check in with you if there is a change of plans.
- Caution children never to accept a ride from anyone unless you have told them it is okay to do so in every instance.
- Remind children that it is okay to say “no” to anything that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused – and that they should tell you if anything or anyone makes them feel this way.
- Tell children that if anyone tries to grab them, they should make a scene and make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming, and making as much noise as possible.”
Swistek says while Michigan City Police Department is investigating the incident officers will increase patrols around all Michigan City area schools, inviting parents who observe suspicious vehicles or individuals when dropping off or picking up their children to immediately notify police.