A “reckless and crazy” man who brazenly walked onto a Solana Beach Campus Monday tried to wrap tape around a 7-year-old girl’s head and carry her off, according to an email from the victim’s father.
The parent said he is detailing the frightening incident in a mass email to prevent this from happening to others and to help catch the suspect.
“We also want everyone to know the details regarding the incident so you understand what kind of crazy person is still running around out there,” he wrote in the email. The San Diego County Sheriff's Department released a composite sketch of the suspect to give residents a better idea.
Just 15 minutes after the dismissal bell rang for Skyline Elementary School Monday afternoon, the suspect parked in the school lot, walked past the front office and confronted the 7-year-old behind the school as she walked to her after-school program.
Armed with a roll of packing tape, the man tried to wrap it multiple times around the girl’s head, according to the father.
“The ‘if you want to see your mommy again’ was used in our case as he tried to lure her behind the garden and attempted to tape her up,” the father wrote.
The stranger also attempted to pick her up and carry her away, but her screams and kicks caught the attention of staff nearby. The father says teachers and janitors tried to catch the man, but he drove off. The girl was unharmed.
Witnesses told sheriff’s officials that the man drove away in a silver Ford Flex-style SUV with a black top. The suspect is described as a man in his 40s with light brown hair, tan skin and facial stubble. He stands about 6-feet tall with a medium build.
At the time of the incident, he was wearing a red, white and blue baseball jersey, a green baseball cap, off-white baseball pants, athletic shoes and held a duffle bag, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
The victim’s father is encouraging all parents to talk with their children about “stranger danger.”
“Yell, scream, draw as much attention as you can,” he wrote. “This is what saved our daughter.”
The Solana Beach School District announced Tuesday it will be implementing new protocols to make sure students safely transition to after-school programs. Officials urge parents not to drop off students before supervision is available and to be prompt about picking children up after school ends.
Each school in the district will also hold a "Play it Safe" assembly to teach students, through role play, how to react to suspicious situations, attract attention and escape.