SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — Parents of Birmingham Public Schools got a warning about a man that was reportedly taking pictures near a middle school bus stop this week.
According to the letter, the man was spotted at Longcrest and Pierce in Southfield. He was described as a white man in his 40s or 50s wearing a brown jacket and glasses. A vehicle was not tied to the description. The student who spotted the man was a Berkshire Middle School student.
A man was spotted taking photos near a bus stop with middle school children -- this is the letter sent home to parents. NOTE: This happened in SOUTHFIELD, but the children in this area attend Birmingham Public Schools. @wxyzdetroit Story at 5:30a. pic.twitter.com/kQA6M8B8Nk— Matthew Smith (@MattSmithWXYZ) April 24, 2019
While the letter was sent to Birmingham parents, the specific incident was reported to Southfield Police because of the area where it occurred. Drivers of school buses were alerted, but the district sent additional safety guidelines — or best practices — for young children to keep in mind as they walk in public:
• Know where you are going and the safest way to get there.
• Avoid isolated areas and do not wear headphones or text while walking.
• Always tell an adult where you are going and what time you’ll be back. Whenever possible, travel with a friend or group of friends.
• If you think you are being followed, go to the nearest store or public place. If there isn’t a store or public area nearby, keep moving and don’t be afraid to yell for help or make other noise to draw attention to the situation.
• Always take care when walking or biking.
• If a stranger grabs you, do everything in your power to break free. Scream, “stranger!” as loud as you can and run to the nearest public place or residence of a trusted neighbor.
• Never get in a strangers’ vehicle under any circumstance. Do not think that if you cooperate and get in the vehicle that they will let you go.
• Always have a code word that only you and your parents know in the event that a friend or acquaintance of the family says your mom or dad said to give you a ride.
• Adults never need your help. If you are approached by a stranger to help find their dog or help with another problem, do not help and run to the nearest safe location.
• Try to remember what the suspect(s) look like and the vehicle they drove. However, the first priority is to get away and get to a safe place.
• Report anything suspicious to the police as quickly as possible and provide as much detail as you can.