Police are commending a 10-year-old girl for how she handled being approached by a stranger in a car in Conception Bay South.
Const. Suzanne FitzGerald speaks with reporters at Royal Newfoundland Constabulary headquarters Wednesday afternoon. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram
At around 8 p.m. Monday, in the Forest Road area, the girl said a person driving a newer-model, silver, four-door car pulled up next to her and asked if she needed a ride and then asked her to get in the car.
The girl ran away and told her parents, who immediately contacted police.
“That’s a key message we would like to get out there — to encourage more people to act exactly as this 10-year-old little girl did,” RNC Const. Suzanne FitzGerald told reporters Wednesday. “She did not approach the vehicle, she did not speak to the occupant, she immediately told her parents and they did the appropriate thing in reporting the incident so that we could follow up.”
It’s not clear whether it was a male or female who approached the girl.
She told police the driver appeared to be a woman, “but it could’ve been a man dressed as a woman,” FitzGerald said, “or a male with feminine features.”
The girl described the driver as being between 50 and 60 years old with silver or grey short, bushy hair and a dark complexion.
“That’s a key message we would like to get out there — to encourage more people to act exactly as this 10-year-old little girl did. She did not approach the vehicle, she did not speak to the occupant, she immediately told her parents and they did the appropriate thing in reporting the incident so that we could follow up.” RNC Const. Suzanne FitzGerald
The girl also said she had seen the vehicle in the area before.
Fitzgerald said there is no reason for parents to be alarmed.
“This is not what we would classify as an attempted child abduction. This was an incident by which a person approached a child,” FitzGerald said.
“From time to time, we do get reports of that nature … of children being approached.
“However, it is very encouraging to see that the children who are being approached are handling this in the exact same way that we would recommend.
“They are not going near the vehicle, not speaking to the occupants in the vehicle, they are immediately leaving the area and notifying the appropriate adults.”
The Child and Sexual Assault Unit is following up on the case and is continuing to interview the child in an attempt to get further detail.
Anyone will information is asked to contact the RNC or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.