Wichita students offered ride by stranger while walking to school

By: KAKE News - Email
By: KAKE News - Email

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WICHITA, Kan. -- Wichita Police continue to investigate a possible kidnapping attempt outside a local middle school.

The incident happened at 7:50 a.m. Monday near Mead Middle School, located at 2601 E. Skinner. Two boys said a man tried to talk them into getting into his car to avoid being late for school.

KAKE's David Marcus spoke to one of those 8th graders about what happened.

"It was just freaky! It just never happened to me!" said Mead student Miles Brown, 14. "The guy just pulled up and asked us if we wanted a ride to school because we were gonna be late. But we were literally like a block away from the school."

Miles said he and his friend reacted quickly, running to a neighbor's yard and away from the car. After Miles started to call his mother on his cell phone, the car sped away.

Wichita Police praised the two boys for their swift action.

"They did the right thing. Not getting in the car was smart, then they went and reported it. They did the right thing in that kind of situation," said Wichita Police Lieutenant Doug Nolte.

Miles says he's scared to walk to school now, even with a friend. And he knows he might have been very lucky.

"It's strange, strange how he just stopped. I mean, I'm glad he didn't get out of the car because if he would have, I don't know what I would have done," Brown said.

The man was described as a white male in his 30s or 40s. He had a goatee and was wearing a stocking cap. He was driving a gold Buick sedan.

Wichita Police have increased patrols at Mead Middle School following this incident. Officers also have advice on dealing with "stranger danger" situations.

"Obviously if it's a stranger, they need to not only walk away but immediately tell an adult: a parent or teacher," Wichita Police Lieutenant Jeff Weible said. "If they see something that makes them uncomfortable they need to report that to someone they know."

There are also a number of marked safe places around Wichita, and they are usually labeled with a "Safe Place" sign. Those locations include fire stations and QuikTrip stores.

Lieutenant Weible also recommends that parents talk with their children and know where they're going, who they're with and when they will arrive. There is also strength in numbers and always be aware of your surroundings.

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