PORT TOWNSEND — Another local town is on edge after 2 attempted child lurings in eight days. Police in Port Townsend say someone has been approaching kids while they ride their bikes to school.
The luring attempts have been happening around 8 o’clock in the morning while kids are heading to class at Blue Heron Middle School. In both cases the suspect was driving a white van and cops think it may be the same guy.
“I could have had my life taken away and I could have never seen my family ever again,” said 11-year-old Ashton Hoye.
Cops say Ashton did exactly the right thing when he was approached by a stranger Wednesday morning. He was riding his bike down a gravel road when a man in a white van one blocked his path.
“He asked me if I wanted any candy and then I said no thank you,” said Hoye. “He said, ‘Are you sure? Come here.’ And then I said no and then I got on my bike and rode away pretty fast.”
Port Townsend police have doubled their patrols around local schools this week because Ashton was the second child approached in eight days. On Oct. 2, a girl reported an almost identical experience with a man in a white van.
“The incidents are likely related,” said police officer Luke Bogues.
The 11-year-old girl was also on her bike but she kept her cool and used her head.
“The male said that her mother had instructed him to give her a ride to school. She was very quick on her thinking and asked, ‘Well what’s my mother’s name?’ The man didn’t know the name and she knew it wasn’t the friend of her mom and she rode away,” said Bogues.
The descriptions the kids gave to police varied a little, but cops are looking for a 50-year-old white male. Ashton says he had a white goatee and he is missing some teeth.
The school district alerted parents about what’s been happening in a letter that was sent to families. Cops are reminding kids to stay in groups and they’re also urging people to call 911 if they see anything suspicious.