A strange man tried to convince a 7-year-old girl to go with him in his car, San Diego County Sheriff's officials said Monday.
The man approached the girl behind Skyline Elementary, located at 606 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, as the student was heading to an after-school enrichment program at 3:25 p.m.
When the girl screamed, the man ran off and she was able to get away.
"She did the right thing," said sheriff's Capt. Theresa Adams-Hydar. "She screamed and made herself not a victim; she did a great job."
Staff members and parents saw the encounter and gave officials a description of the man.
He is described as a man with light brown hair and a tan skin tone, possibly in his 40s. He has a medium build and stands about 6-feet tall.
"He was wearing, it looked like, a red, white and blue athletic, maybe baseball jersey, buttoned down; a green baseball cap; off-white baseball pants with athletic shoes; and was holding a small duffle bag," said Adams-Hydar.
The man was driving a silver Ford Flex-type car with chrome trim on the back and a black top when he talked with the girl.
If you know anything about the suspect, call the sheriff's department at 858-565-5200.
Parent Isabel Hernandez, who volunteers as a traffic monitor at Skyline, said the incident is surprising and concerning for this typically safe neighborhood.
"It makes me scared," said Hernandez. "It also made me want to really really make sure we parents talk to our kids about not to be trusting of anybody and be aware of it because you never know what's going to happen in these days."
The Solana Beach School District sent an email out to parents, letting them know about the incident and thanking the student and adults for their quick action.
The email also includes the following list of "stranger danger" tips:
- Make sure your children are walking to and from school in a group and/or with an adult supervising.
- Remind your child to never talk to strangers. If someone approaches them in any way, they should not talk to the person but immediately scream loudly and run to the school, nearest adult they know, neighbor’s house, etc.
- Do not take shortcuts or different routes to or from school. Have a plan and make sure your children know you expect them to walk with friends and a certain route every day.
- Report any unusual occurrences to the school office. We have an extensive network whereby we notify all other schools and they also notify our district so we can keep our children safe.
- If you see a vehicle or an individual that looks “out of place” or suspicious, write down the license number and a brief description of the car and person. The police do follow-up on this information and they need our help.