7-year-old flees stranger at bus stop

By Bobby Kerlik
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, March 15, 2005

A man tried to lure a 7-year-old girl to walk with him Monday morning as
she stood at her bus stop in Millvale, then chased her when she fled,
police said.

The man approached the girl about 8:30 a.m. on Lincoln Avenue. The girl
ran away, and he yelled at her to stop, said Millvale police Chief Dean
Girty. The man fled after she ran to the nearby post office and banged on
the door, police said.

“No one came to the door so the girl ran around the building and up the
street to her house where her mother called police,” Girty said. “It’s
kind of a freak thing. I’ve been here 18 years and never had anything
like this happen.”

The girl is a first-grader at Reserve Elementary School in Shaler Area
School District. The school sent home letters with students informing
parents of what occurred, and Principal Rick Pelkofer visited classrooms
throughout the day to review safety precautions children should take when
dealing with strangers.

“We want people to be vigilant,” Shaler Superintendent Don Lee said.
“We’re going over what to do if approached by a stranger. In the next
couple of days, if it’s possible, we hope parents will walk their kids to
the bus stop.”

Girty said police were comparing notes with the Megan’s Law Web site,
which lists registered sex offenders.

The man who approached the girl was described as overweight, bald and
white, wearing a red shirt and white shorts, police said. No vehicle was
seen.

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