A female Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School student told police this morning that she was approached on the 400 block of Clinton Avenue by an adult male who tried to coax her into his car around 8:45 a.m.

Oak Park School District 97 sent a notice to teachers and parents warning about the incident.

The seventh-grade student told her parents a 40-ish man in a grey/silver colored car asked her if she wanted a ride to school and tried to wave her over.

Oak Park police issued a description of the offender as a white, male, age 35-45, with brown and gray hair and a brown and gray goatee. The man was said to have a Hispanic accent and be driving a light gray four-door Honda or Toyota.

Chris Jasculca, D97 spokesman, said Oak Park police are investigating and will be increasing their patrols around the area of the school.

Safety tips from District 97

Incidents like this remind us all about the safety precautions children should take when they are walking around Oak Park, whether it is to/from school or on the weekends. Below are safety guidelines that have been compiled for our students with the assistance of the police department.

• 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.

“Please take a few minutes to review and discuss these safety rules with your children.” wrote Jasculca in a statement. “Thank you for your time, attention and support on this important issue.”

This article was updated to include a police description of the suspect. 

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