CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Cranston police are investigating after a young student reported being chased by a suspicious man on his way to the bus stop Tuesday morning.
According to police, the 12-year-old boy said he was walking near the intersection of Aqueduct and Bridgeton Roads at about 7:30 a.m. when a red, older model sedan pulled alongside him and the driver asked if he needed a ride.
After he declined, the boy told police the man got out of the car and chased him on foot, but said he was able to elude the suspect and arrive at his bus stop.
“We don’t know what the intent was behind this, but we sure would like to find out,” said Cranston Police Lt. Matthew Kite.
The suspect is described as an older white male with grey hair and a grey moustache. Police said he was wearing a blue pullover with an orange zipper, a red baseball cap and sunglasses.
The boy was only able to catch two numbers on the suspect’s license plate, according to police.
“It was a red vehicle,” said Lt. Kite. “He saw two numbers on the plate, a 6 and a 7. Again, that’s just a partial plate.”
Cranston police said they will have increased patrols at schools and bus stops in hopes of preventing any similar incidents.
“It’s kind of nerve-wracking knowing something like that is happening so close to your house, you know?” reacted Joseph McGuire, who has two children in the same age range.
McGuire showed Eyewitness News an email sent to parents from Cranston Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse, which read in part: “As always, we encourage you to speak to your children about strangers approaching them.”
“I did, and my daughter, their teacher actually went over what to do with them in a situation like this,” McGuire added. “My son, he goes to Park View Middle School. He’s 13 years old, and the funny thing is, they didn’t mention to them at school about it.”
Lt. Kite said the boy reported what happened immediately, which was crucial.
“It does no good if something like this happens to you and then weeks away it gets mentioned or brought up,” he explained. “It’s cold at that time.”
Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact the Cranston Police Department at (401) 942-2211.