By Jean Lotus
The Oak Park Police Department is investigating a possible child luring, which occurred the afternoon of Jan. 21 near Irving Elementary School, 1125 S. Cuyler Ave.
According to an email sent to parents by District 97, a 10-year-old fifth-grade girl informed the police she was approached by a man who offered her candy. The girl refused and immediately ran back to the school to report the incident to staff, the school district said.
Police said the man sat in a black four-door vehicle parked in front of the school around 3 p.m. According to police, the man wore a black ski mask, ski goggles, black jacket and black mittens. He reportedly called out to the victim offfering candy. When the child ran back into the school, the man drove away southbound on Cuyler Avenue.
"Incidents like this remind us all about safety precautions children should take when they are walking around Oak Park, whether it is to/from school or on the weekends," said the message from Director of Policy, Planning and Communication Chris Jasculca.
The school district forwarded some tips for student safety in Oak Park:
• Always try to walk in groups or with at least one other person.
• Walk on sidewalks and other open areas rather than alleys that have less visibility.
• Be aware of your surroundings and any strangers who are nearby.
• If you have a concern about another person near you, go to a neighbor's house, find an adult to assist you, or go back to school.
• Never approach a vehicle unknown to you even if the occupant speaks to you.
• Yell loudly and run if you feel you are in danger.
• Be sure to tell your parents if something happens. Parents should contact the police and the school.