Elementary students have thwarted apparent abduction attempts in two separate incidents in northeast Tarrant County in as many days, and area police urged parents to talk to their children about safety.
A 10-year-old boy ran away from a stranger in a Grapevine neighborhood Monday afternoon and a 9-year-old girl ran from a man in Hurst on Tuesday afternoon.
Both children were walking home from their schools when men whom they did not know confronted them.
Area police do not have enough details to determine if the two are related because the Grapevine boy could not provide details of the man or the vehicle. But police in Hurst and Grapevine have listed the incidents as suspicious.
No criminal offenses are being investigated at this time.
The most recent incident occurred about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday in the 100 block of Plaza Boulevard in Hurst near Harrison Lane Elementary School.
The girl told Hurst police she was walking home when she saw a black panel van slowly driving down the street and the driver watching her.
At some point, the van driver, described by the girl as a Hispanic man with short hair and a mustache, stopped the vehicle a few feet from her and exited the van. He walked towards her and didn’t speak, police said, so she ran home and reported the incident to family members.
The van was described as very dirty with light-blue hubcaps, Hurst police said.
“Due to the young age of the child and the close proximity to the elementary school, the Hurst Police Department is asking that anyone who might have witnessed this incident to contact us as soon as possible, “ Hurst police Sgt. Lonnie Brazzel said in a news release.
The Grapevine incident occurred about 3:30 p.m. Monday as the student was walking home from school on Wilshire Avenue off Heritage Avenue and north of Hall-Johnson Road.
A car pulled up to the boy and a man asked if he needed a ride home, Grapevine police said. The student did not recognize the man and ran home, where he told a relative, Grapevine police said.
A letter from the school was sent to Grapevine parents Tuesday alerting them of the Monday afternoon incident.
Grapevine police have increased patrols around the school.
- Use the buddy system.
- Avoid walking alone.
- Never speak to strangers.
- Trust your instincts.
- If you feel you’re being followed or something is not right, seek help immediately.
- When seeking help, go to a trusted adult, such as a teacher, coach, police officer, parent or older sibling.
- Don’t go anywhere with someone you don’t know.
- If a stranger approaches you, run to a nearby house or business for help.
- If you have cell phone, be prepared to dial 911.
Source: Grapevine-Colleyville school district