Students report suspicious incident at school bus stop


Published: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 10:52 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 10:52 a.m.

Girls at an Alachua County school bus stop Monday told officers a man stopped and took pictures of them until they realized what he was doing and chased him away.

The girls, who are in their early teens, were at NW 46th Street and NW 23rd Avenue when they spotted the man at about 8 a.m., the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The man, who was in a silver mini van, took pictures of the girls, drove around the block and then parked south of them on NW 46th Street, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Steve Maynard. One of the students realized what the man was doing and shouted at him. He then drove off.

Officers searched for the vehicle and also alerted the Gainesville Police Department about the incident. But he vehicle was not located. The man was described as white and in his late 40s with white hair and a white beard. The students’ parents were notified about the incident, Maynard said.

A similar incident occurred in the Newberry area also on Monday morning. A 14-year-old student reported a stranger approached her near the Hammock Apartment complex on NW County Road 235 on the eastern edge of Newberry as she was on her way to school.

In that report, the girl described the man as having a heavy country accent and a red goatee. He was wearing blue jeans and a black sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over his head. He was driving a small, black pick-up with a standard cab that had been damaged on the passenger side and windows that were not tinted. The Sheriff’s Office saturated the area with deputies Tuesday but didn’t locate the man.

Anyone with information about either incident is asked to contact deputies at (352)955-1818.

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