Man tries to kidnap teen girl walking to school in San Mateo

SAN MATEO (KRON) — A man tried to kidnap a 14-year-old girl in San Mateo on Wednesday morning, police said.

The attempted kidnapping happened at around 10:30 a.m. in the area of Peninsula Avenue and the railroad tracks.

The girl told police she was walking to San Mateo High School when a Middle Eastern man driving a white van honked at her. The man then got out of the car, went up to the girl, and grabbed her by the shoulder.

The girl kicked him and ran home. She then contacted police.

Officers searched the area but could not find the suspect.

The suspect is described as a man in his late 50s to early 60s, unshaven, with an average build. He had slicked back black and gray hair.

He was last seen wearing a gray and blue T-shirt.

If you have any information, you are asked to call police at (650)-522-7700.

A similar incident happened on Sept. 18.

Police are investigating if the incidents are related.

Here are some tips from San Mateo police:

Look, listen, stay safe.  Be aware of your surroundings when walking in public. Avoid distractions while walking such as books or electronics.
 
Whenever possible use the buddy system. Urge your children to walk with a friend or friends. There’s safety in numbers.
 
Watch out for strangers in cars.  Watch for cars that follow you. NEVER approach a stranger in a car for ANY reason.
 
If a stranger talks to you from a car or asks a question, ignore them, and walk or even run away.
 
Yell and Tell.  If a stranger makes you uncomfortable or scares you, YELL and run away. Find someone you trust and TELL them what happened.
Trust your instincts. Only you get to decide when you’re uncomfortable or scared. Don’t be afraid to tell a stranger “No”, ignore them, or just run away!
 
 In addition, here are some safety tips for our younger children

• Make sure that your child understands who a stranger is… it may not be a person that looks strange.

• Make sure that your child knows his/her full name, address and phone number.

• Be sure that your child knows how to call 9-1-1.

• Encourage your child to go with a friend or a family member when they go somewhere and use safe routes not short cuts by vacant buildings, alleys or other potentially dangerous places. 

• Review scenarios that strangers might use to get your child into a car including offering candy, toys, money or asking for help.

• If approached by a stranger, make sure that your child knows to run away, scream and find a trusted adult for help. 

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