Crowley police are increasing patrols in the Mesa Vista community after two men in a white Ford truck tried to abduct 10 to 15 students waiting for the bus at two different stops Thursday morning, a police spokeswoman said.
A Crowley school district bus driver notified police at 7:15 a.m. after two sets of 10- and 11-year-old children told her they were approached while waiting at La Sierra Drive and Rock Meadow Drive.
The children shared the same story with the bus driver. A full-sized four-door white Ford Super Duty pulled up to each bus stop and a passenger in his 30s asked the children if they wanted a ride to school, Crowley police officer C.C. Meadows said.
When they said “no,” the passenger “opened the door to get out and said he wanted to ‘Take them on a ride of a lifetime,’ ” according to police.
After refusing to get in the truck, the children watched the driver go to the next bus stop and try again. At that point, the bus driver had already signaled dispatch to call 911, Meadows said.
All the children were on their way to S.H. Crowley Intermediate school, Meadows said.
The passenger in the truck is described as a heavyset, white man with a short, full, black beard and possibly a scar on his cheek. He was wearing a green hat with a fishhook on the bill, police said. The driver is also said to be a white man, but a more detailed description was not available.
The truck is believed to be a supercab truck with wood piled in the bed and a chrome headlight grill on the front, Meadows said.
Meadows said there would be extra patrol in the area and around the schools Friday.
Police ask anyone with more information to call the Crowley Police Department at 817-297-2276.
As a former school resource officer for Crowley and Fort Worth, Meadows said it is not unusual to get such reports several times a year.
The school district sent out a statement to parents that included these tips:
• Walk to and from school in groups.
• Never accept a ride without first getting permission from parents.
• Report all suspicious behavior to parents, police, or school officials.
• Never take shortcuts. Always stick to routes selected by parents, and stay on main roads.
• Never advertise that you are going home alone. If you wear a house key, keep it under your clothing.
• Have plans for emergencies and practice them at home with your parents.
• Make a list of safe places you can go for help along walking routes.
• Never leave school with anyone before checking with school officials.
The tips were created by Diana Jones, founder of the child safety stranger-danger program, “Run, Yell, Tell: Safe Choices, Safe Children.”