A 10-year-old girl on her way to a school bus stop Tuesday morning allegedly was approached by an older man in an older, green car who asked if she wanted a ride, according to Missoula police.
The incident reportedly occurred at about 7:55 a.m. near the intersection of Creek Crossing and Rattlesnake Drive, according to Missoula police Detective Sgt. Travis Welsh.
The girl didn’t answer, and ran to the bus stop, according to an email alert sent Tuesday morning to parents and school staff by Jerry Seidensticker, principal at Rattlesnake Elementary School.
The car drove away, heading southbound on Rattlesnake, Welsh said.
The incident was reported when the student got to school. Missoula police were notified immediately.
The child “did exactly what they needed to do,” Seidensticker said in a telephone interview.
Welsh said the man was described as being in his 50s, with shoulder-length gray hair.
“Officers responded to the area but the vehicle was not located,” he wrote in an email. “There is no obvious indication that malice was intended, however parents are reminded to speak to their children about what to do when approached by strangers.”
Seidensticker said he received more calls from reporters than from parents Tuesday about the alleged incident.
He urged parents to “take this opportunity to again stress to your children the action they should take should this happen to them.”
The incident remained under investigation Tuesday. Anyone with information is asked to call the Missoula Police Department at 552-6300.
Reporter Gwen Florio can be reached at 523-5268, firstname.lastname@example.org or @CopsAndCourts.