VISTA, Calif. — North County parents are on edge after a teenager claimed a man attempted to kidnap her as she walked to the bus stop.
The sketch of the man was released Friday by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Vista Station after the 13-year-old Roosevelt Middle School student told deputies Tuesday a passenger pulled up to the intersection of West Los Angeles Drive and Georgia Lane Monday around 8:30 a.m. in a white van and got out to tell her to get inside. She says the man then grabbed her from the backpack and shoulder, prompting the student to hit him with her elbow and escape.
Concerned parents say it is never too early to have a conversation around safety.
“I teach kindergarten and I think at this age, it’s very important to have that stranger-danger conversation,” said Jenalin Steinberger, a teacher with San Marcos Unified School District. “As they get older, my daughter is in sixth grade, and you continue having that conversation because it changes.”
Juan Guzman is a worried parent from Escondido and says he understand parents can’t always be there for their kids.
“There is a lot of parents that have to go to work and it’s hard for them to drop them off,” he said.
Guzman says its important to communicate with your children.
“Communicate with your kids, make sure that they don’t have to talk to any strangers or just be careful,” he said.
According to sheriff’s officials, the man is described as a Hispanic male, thin built, spiky brown hair, authorities said. He was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt, black jeans, black scarf, or mask and black sunglasses. Authorities said the student did not get a description of the man driving the van.
If you recognize the man in the sketch or have any information about this incident, call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. You can remain anonymous and be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.