San Diego

Man Follows 12-Year-Old Girl in Tierrasanta, Police Investigation Underway

Police are investigating after a man followed a 12-year-old girl in the Tierrasanta area of San Diego on Wednesday evening.

According to the San Diego Police Department (SDPD), the girl noticed the man following her as she was walking on the 4000 block of Santo Road around 5:45 p.m.

She crossed the road multiple times and the man continued to follow her, also crossing the road.

That's when the girl confronted the man and told him to stop following her, police said. The man told the girl he wanted to talk to her, but she told him to leave her alone and walked away.

Police said the man continued to follow her.

At this point, the girl confronted the man again and kicked him when he approached her a second time. She then ran away and hid from him.

“Good girl. I mean, Amen to her. She’s got it," exclaimed Traci Paladini when learning of the incident from NBC 7.

Paladini lives in the neighborhood and has three children.

When the suspect stopped took off, the girl hid in some bushes, then waited before running home and telling her family, police said. 

"Smart girl," Paladini added.  "Honestly, I wouldn’t have thought to do that-- to get away.

Paladini told NBC 7, the incident is definitely going to spark a conversation about safety and "stranger danger" with her eldest child, who is 5-years-old.

“Now that’s making me prepare her," she said. "Just for kids to know that there are bad people out there.”

The suspect is described to be in his late 20s, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall with a medium build. He was wearing a gray zip-up hoodie over a white t-shirt and blue jeans with gray Nike athletic shoes. He also had cheetah-framed sunglasses on top of his head.

Police said he may have a green tattoo on the back of his neck.

At this point, this was the only incident reported in Tierrasanta, but police said residents should still be vigilant.

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