Norwalk Police issued a warning to the public Saturday of a report that a man driving a van tried to lure a child into it earlier this week.
According to the Norwalk Special Victims Unit, late Thursday afternoon, a ten-year-old student getting off a school bus in front of the Meadow Gardens Housing Complex was approached by a man in a blue van who offered the child candy if he would get into the vehicle. The student refused, ran away and notified the father when he arrived home. The student reported that the man did not get out of his van and that there was no physical contact between the two.
The student described the suspect as a white male approximately 30-40 years old wearing glasses and a green hooded sweatshirt with a scar on his right cheek. The van is described as a dark blue van with tinted windows and the male as the sole occupant.
The student also reportedly said he remembered the same man drove past the school bus stop the next afternoon in a white van, but he did not stop.
Parents are asked to speak with their children regarding stranger danger and to be observant of their young children as they wait for and disembark the school bus.
The Norwalk Public Schools sent out a notification letter to parents yesterday afternoon.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Norwalk Police Department.
Norwalk Police Department Contact Info:
Norwalk Police Tip Line at 203-854-3111
Anonymous Internet tips can be sent to Norwalk Police website at: www.norwalkpd.com
Anonymous text tips can be submitted by typing “NPD” into the text field, followed by the message, and sending it to CRIMES (274637).
For parents worried about their children, here are some tips from the National Crime Prevention Council on talking to your kids.
Recognizing and Handling Dangerous Situations
Perhaps the most important way parents can protect their children is to teach them to be wary of potentially dangerous situations – this will help them when dealing with strangers as well as with known adults who may not have good intentions. Help children recognize the warning signs of suspicious behavior, such as when an adult asks them to disobey their parents or do something without permission, asks them to keep a secret, asks children for help, or makes them feel uncomfortable in any way. Also tell your children that an adult should never ask a child for help, and if one does ask for their help, teach them to find a trusted adult right away to tell what happened.
You should also talk to your children about how they should handle dangerous situations. One ways is to teach them “No, Go, Yell, Tell.” If in a dangerous situations, kids should say no, run away, yell as loud as they can, and tell a trusted adult what happened right away. Make sure that your children know that it is okay to say no to an adult in a dangerous situation and to yell to keep themselves safe, even if they are indoors. It’s good to practice this in different situations so that your children will feel confident in knowing know what to do. Here are a few possible scenarios:
- A nice-looking stranger approaches your child in the park and asks for help finding the stranger’s lost dog.
- A woman who lives in your neighborhood but that the child has never spoken to invites your child into her house for a snack.
- A stranger asks if your child wants a ride home from school.
- Your child thinks he or she is being followed.
- An adult your child knows says or does something that makes him or her feel bad or uncomfortable.
- While your child is walking home from a friend’s house, a car pulls over and a stranger asks for directions.