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Unknown man approaches girl walking home from Manatee High

BRADENTON -- A Manatee High School freshman was allegedly approached by an unknown man Tuesday afternoon as she walked home from school, the Bradenton Police Department reports.

The 14-year-old told detectives that a man, believed to be in his mid-20s, stopped his car to speak to her at about 3 p.m. in the 1200 block of 22nd Street West, according to BPD Detective Alex Ribachuk.

The girl stopped and approached the car to ask the driver if she knew him. He replied that he didn’t know her, but if she got into the car they could get to “know each other,” Ribachuk said. The girl screamed for a friend and the suspect drove off.

The victim, who didn’t have a cellphone, went home and told her father, who then called law enforcement, Ribachuk said.

The suspect is described as having a medium build at about 180 pounds, slight stubble, facial pock marks, blue eyes and dark hair. He was last seen driving a dull gold-colored, older model, midsize, four-door sedan.

Ribachuk said the police department will patrol the area surrounding the school Wednesday and school officials have been notified about the incident.

Margi Nanney, Manatee County schools spokeswoman, said a message was sent out to all principals in the district, describing the incident and asking them to remind their students to walk in groups. They were also given the suspect vehicle’s description.

“We want to remind (the students) to be prudent in walking to and from school,” she said.

Anyone with more information is asked to call the Bradenton Police Department at 941-932-9300.

Or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000, call Crime Stoppers 866-634-8477 (TIPS) or send an anonymous E-Tip through the web at www.manateecrimestoppers.com.

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