Police are investigating “a suspicious incident,” in which a man, who was driving a dark-colored sedan near the intersection of Glover Avenue and Main Street, stopped and unsuccessfully offered a ride to a lone 13-year-old boy who was walking home from Newtown Middle School on the afternoon of Monday, February 10.
There were no injuries in the incident.
Police Lieutenant George Sinko, who oversees the police department’s patrol unit, said February 11 that police have no suspects in the case, but are working with police in other towns in the probe.
“We have a couple of leads we’re looking into,” Lt Sinko said.
After turning down the ride, the youth ran home, where he called a parent, who then called the school, which then called police about the brief incident.
Lt Sinko said the boy acted correctly in leaving the scene and informing his parent of the problem.
The lieutenant said that police urge youths to walk in groups for their own safety.
Both the police department’s patrol division and detective unit are treating the case as a “suspicious incident” which merits investigation, the lieutenant said.
Police have “concentrated” their patrols in the area where the incident occurred, he said.
Lt Sinko described the man who offered the ride to the boy as a white male, approximately 25 years old. The vehicle that the man was driving simply was described as a “dark-colored sedan.”
Following the incident, school officials sent e-mails to the parents of students in the school district.
In his e-mail, John Reed, the interim superintendent of schools, wrote, in part, that fortunately the student refused the man’s offer of a ride and quickly made his way home.
In his e-mail, Thomas Einhorn, the middle school principal, wrote, “The safety of our students is of great importance to us.”
“In collaboration with the Newtown Police Department, we want to share with you information about an incident that was reported this afternoon. A middle school student was approached on their way home from the school by a lone white male approximately 25 years old driving a dark-colored four-door sedan,” he wrote.
“This occurred near Main Street and Glover Avenue. The student was asked if they wanted a ride home, and that it would be safe to do so. The student ran from the vehicle to their home, where they called their parent, who in turn called the school, who in turn called the police,” Mr Einhorn wrote.
“The police are continuing their investigation and taking steps to help insure student safety, including patrols of the area,” he wrote.
“We commend the student for their quick thinking in keeping themselves safe. We would also like for you to remind your children about keeping themselves safe,” he wrote.
“You can tell your children to use the "Three R’s" -- Run, Remember, and Report, if approached by a stranger,” he wrote.
“Run away from the scene. Remember as much as you can about the person or vehicle…Report the incident to an adult or police immediately,” he added.
“If parents or guardians receive reports such as this from their child, please contact the police immediately. Additionally, anyone with information (on the February 10 incident) is asked to contact the Newtown Police Department,” Mr Einhorn said.
The police department is located at 3 Main Street. The telephone number is 203-426-5841.