AUSTIN (KXAN) - Police and school officials are on high alert Tuesday after a student managed to escape a masked man who jumped out of a van and tried to lure the student inside near a middle school campus.
Bedichek Middle School Principal Dan Diehl sent a letter home to parents Monday to let them know what happened.
Diehl said a white, unmarked van went up to a student walking to school in the morning, and that's when the man jumped out and tried to get the student to get inside.
"Fortunately, the student did the right thing and refused the individual's advances, ran home to safety and immediately reported this information to school officials," said Diehl in the letter. "Police are investigating the situation and have increased patrols in the area."
Diehl said school officials will continue to keep parents updated with any additional information. In addition, he offered up some tips parents can shared with their children.
- Identify the location of safe homes or buildings in case they need to run to them. Identify which neighbors are available to help when parents are not at home.
- Avoid alleys and empty lots, houses, or garages. Use direct routes between school and home when walking.
- Use the buddy system. There is usually more safety for children in groups.
- When visiting or playing with friends, always make sure an adult knows where you are and carry your cell phone in case of an emergency.
- Immediately report any suspicious behavior to a school official, parent or trusted adult.
"The safety of all students is our No. 1 priority at Bedichek Middle School," said Diehl.
For anyone with questions or concerns, Diehl said they can call him at 512-414-3265.
Austin police, meanwhile, are also asking for help finding a man who tried to pull a 14-year-old girl into a car in East Austin last week.
A detective said the girl was walking near MLK and Chicon on April 16 when a man jumped out of a newer model red Cadillac Escalade and grabbed her. While he was pulling her into the car, a driver passing by started yelling - saying they were going to call police. The attacker was caught off guard and it gave the girl time to break away.
Police have a good description - the man is described as a black man with dreadlocks, gold teeth and tattoos on his arms. He's in his mid to late 30s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 200 pounds.
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