CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland police are searching for a man who tried to get a 12-year-old girl into his vehicle on Tuesday.
The girl was riding her bike home from school at around 4 p.m. near Hyde and W. 44th when a man beeped his horn and told her to "get in," she told police. He was possibly in a black Jeep Liberty with tinted windows and a missing spare tire from the back of the vehicle.
The girl took off on her bicycle and headed back to her school, Lincoln Preparatory School, where the police were notified. Police searched the area where the girl says the man tried to lure her, but were unable to locate the man or his vehicle.
Parents living near the intersection where the incident happened are obviously concerned. Erica Buchanan says she doesn't want her kids playing outside anymore.
"I'm scared for my kids to even walk to the store now," said Buchanan.
Brianna Jones lives near the intersection where the girl says she was approached. Jones says she thinks she's seen a vehicle similar to the one the girl described in the area.
"I think maybe they saw something that they liked, and they wanted to pick her up. I'm not saying it's a good thing, but I don't think they are being intentional about it," said Jones.
School officials released this statement Wednesday:
The police were called and a statement was given about the incident. Lincoln Preparatory wants all families to know that we have taken serious action toward this incident. We will have police activity in the neighborhood and staff members will be placed around the area of the school during arrival and dismissal and an extra security guard will be present during dismissal to make sure your child/children are safe.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Second District Detective Bureau at 216-623-5218.
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