Police looking for man who tried to entice student - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Police looking for man who tried to entice student

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MARSHALL (WKOW) -- A man tried to lure a junior high school student into his car Monday afternoon, police say.

The incident happened in the 200 block of Hemlock Lane in the Evergreen Village mobile home park, less than a half mile from Marshall Middle School.

"I'm surprised because it's not something that typically happens here," said Tiffany Olson, a friend of the student's family and resident of Evergreen Village.

Olson's daughter is friends with the pre-teen who nearly got into the bad situation.

"I know that it's hard for her and she's going to be spending some time at home until she can adjust to this. It's traumatic unfortunately," Olson said. 

Marshall Police chief Lee Hellenbrand explains the girl was walking home from school and was almost home when a driver pulled up next to her.

"The driver asked her where she lived and she was approximately a half block away from her house. The driver said he could give her a ride and she refused," Hellenbrand said.  

The girl then ran home and told her parents, who then called the police.

As of Tuesday night, police still did not know what the man's intentions were; however, Hellenbrand says his behavior was unusual for an adult because the man still offered her a ride even though the girl said she was nearly home.

Police are now looking for a man, as described by the girl:

  • White male
  • Approximately 30 to 40 years old
  • Full beard with mustache
  • Driving a maroon-colored 4-door sedan, which has rust and peeling paint, as well as a large dent on the driver's side passenger door
  • At the time of the incident, he was wearing a white baseball cap and white T-shirt

Immediately, Marshall police released the description and notified the school district, which in turn emailed parents.

"Within an hour, we had about 300 people in the neighborhood looking, with eyes peeled in hopes of locating the individual," said Hellenbrand, who believes the suspicious man is still in the Marshall area.

Hellenbrand has some tips for how school-aged kids can stay safe:

  • Always walk home in groups
  • Tell your parents where you're going
  • Cross at crosswalks
  • Walk on sidewalks

As for the girl, Olson says she went to school Tuesday.

"She gave me a big hug after school," Olson said, continuing, "and I know she's grateful that I'll be able to give her a ride home from now on."

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