ELYRIA – An 11-year-old girl waiting for her bus Wednesday morning near the entrance to a park told police a woman approached her and told her she’d take her to school and tried to get her to hug her.
The incident happened just before 7 a.m. near the entrance to High Point in the Park on North West River Road, where the girl generally waits for her bus.
She told police a red, small sedan-type vehicle – she thought it might be a Kia – pulled into the park entrance and a woman got out of the car. She held out her arms and told her, “Hey little girl, do you want a hug?” and then said, “Can I take you to school?”
At that point, the girl said the woman was standing roughly 4 feet away from her, and the approach scared her so she took off running and hid behind a shed in the area, police said.
The woman followed her and was talking to her, saying things like “Come out, I’ll take you to school,” and “I just want a hug,” she told police. The woman then pulled out a cell phone and started talking to someone, and the girl heard her say, “Get the car.”
At that point, she saw a white man about 6 feet tall wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the hood over his head and torn-up jeans, head toward the car, get in and drive off. The girl hadn’t seen him get out of the car, police Capt. Chris Costantino said, but he was presumed to be the driver since the woman had gotten out of the passenger seat of the car before approaching the girl.
The bus pulled up after the car drove off, and the girl got onto the bus and told her bus driver what had happened. Both she and the bus driver saw the woman the girl described walking along North West River Road near Griswold Road, Costantino said.
The girl told police when the bus made a stop near where the woman was walking, she saw the woman looking at the children on the bus through the windows.
The woman was described as a white woman standing about 5-feet, 4-inches tall and weighing roughly 200 pounds with brown hair that she was wearing in a bun. She had glasses on, and she was wearing a black business skirted suit with a pink blouse.
Costantino said police will step up patrols around area bus stops and are asking that anyone who may recognize the couple from the description to contact police at (440) 323-3302.