Child Approached by Stranger Near a Jenison Elementary School
A child playing near Roseswood Elementary School in Jenison was approached by a stranger Sunday night who attempted to get the child to leave with him.
Fox 17 reports that the suspect is an older white man driving a small red pickup truck with a black stripe. The man allegedly told the child that he had spoken with her mother and it was okay if she went to lunch with him.
The child immediately told an adult and police were called, who set up extra patrols in the area.
Anyone with informationshould contact the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office at (800) 249-0911.
Superintendent Tom TenBrink emailed the below letter to parents:
September 15, 2019
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I am sending this message to you tonight with an abundance of caution for all of our children in the Jenison/Hudsonville communities. I was made aware that this afternoon a Rosewood student, while in the vicinity of Rosewood Elementary School, was approached by an older white male who was driving a small red pickup truck with a black stripe. Evidently, the older man told this student that he had talked with her mother and it was okay if she went to lunch with him. I am relieved and very proud of this student for immediately seeking out a trusted adult and reporting what happened.
The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department is well aware of this situation and will be stepping up their patrol in our area until the vehicle and driver are located. All of our building principals have been notified and will be doing their part to keep our children safe, whether at school or in our neighborhoods. Our transportation director is communicating with all of our bus drivers so they can keep a watchful eye out for any vehicle and driver that matches the description provided. One of our school police officers will be starting each morning this week at Rosewood Elementary to provide a strong police presence. I will also be at Rosewood Elementary tomorrow morning to support Principal VerBeek as he takes all the necessary precautions to provide a safe environment for all of his students.
Please use this opportunity to remind your children they should never willingly go with any stranger at any time for any reason. Should they ever be approached by a stranger, they should immediately seek out a trusted adult and report what happened. We can never be too cautious in preparing our children for situations like the one our student encountered this afternoon.
Spread the word to family and friends who live in our area to be on the lookout for a vehicle and driver matching the description provided above. Don’t hesitate to contact the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department with tips that could help them locate the driver of this vehicle.
Thank you in advance for being vigilant in keeping all of our children safe in our communities.