According to the UPD’s Lt. David McQueary, at 10:42 a.m. UPD’s School Resource Officer was dispatched to Pomolita Middle School, on a report of a possible attempted abduction. Upon arrival, the 12-year-old girl, a student at the school, reported that about 10 minutes earlier, she was walking in the 600 block of Dora Avenue, headed home from school. The student saw a white van parked on the street and as she passed, the driver of the van asked her to get inside. The student refused and continued to walk toward home, while ignoring the driver of the van. As she did the driver of the van began to follow her, while he kept trying to convince her to get into the van. The student ran to school and contacted staff, who immediately began investigating the incident.
The man in the van was described as white, aged 30s to 40s, with a full beard and dark hair, wearing dark sunglasses and a dark leather jacket. The vehicle was described as a white panel van, with a broken rear tail-light and porcelain dolls on the front passenger seat.
The case was turned over to the Ukiah Police Department Detective Division. The Ukiah Police Department searched the area for the van with no results. As a precaution, UPD also provided proactive patrols at local schools, as students were dismissed for the day. If anyone has any information regarding the above incident, please contact the Ukiah Police Department Detective Division at 463-6262.
The Ukiah Police Department is currently investigating the incident and working closely with the Ukiah Unified School District.
The UPD also reminds parents that they should take time to talk to their students traveling to and from school about these safety tips:
1. Do not talk to strangers.
2. Be aware of your surroundings (example: Don’t focus your attention on your cell phone while walking home from school. Walk with your head up looking at your surroundings).
3. Stick together. There is safety in numbers.
4. Practice basic self — defense. A swift kick to the shins or private parts along with a loud scream will help get the attention of people in the area.
5. If you’re at home alone — lock your doors. 6. If something happens to you, report it immediately. Parents can get additional information to help protect their children on the community support page at ukiahpolice.com.
If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for UPD’s telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website.