Walnut Creek police on Wednesday released an artist's sketch of a man in his sixties who was apparently stalking a 13-year-old student, on March 14 offering her a ride home, and the next day waving at her on a trail behind Walnut Creek Intermediate School.
The Wednesday, March 14, incident took place across town near Tice Valley Boulevard and Crest Avenue in unincorporated Walnut Creek, according to a press release from the Walnut Creek Police Department, which is investigating the case along with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office.
The stranger is described as a white man in his sixties with a medium build, short gray hair, a possible accent, high cheek bones and tanned skin, the WCPD reported. He was wearing a gray beanie with a red emblem on the front and possibly a short-sleeved shirt. On Wednesday, he was seen driving a faded red, older model compact sedan with a blue disabled placard hanging from the rearview mirror, police said. No license number was reported.
At about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, the girl got off a school bus near Tice Valley Boulevard. As the bus pulled away, the man in the faded red car pulled up alongside the teen. The driver asked how far she had to walk and asked if he could give her a lift. He asked where she went to school and she told him WCI and gave her name. Then he asked where she lived, and the girl ran home and the driver sped off. The Wednesday incident was reported to and investigated by the sheriff's office. An email was sent to WCI parents. Bus drivers were given the vehicle and subject description. WCI Principal Mike Cannon advised parents to remind children about not talking to strangers or giving out personal information.
On Thursday, March 15, as school let out around 3:05 p.m., the girl was walking on the pathway from WCI to Civic Drive. She saw the same man waiting by the back gate on Civic Drive, police reported. He waved. The girl ran back to the school and called her parents. She was positive it was the same man. A friend with her confirmed seeing a man on the trail apparently waving at her. Walnut Creek police officers responded and searched the area but did not locate the suspect or the vehicle, according to the press release.
Local school communities are on alert. Las Lomas High Principal Matt Campbell sent a message to parents recently about a student who was approached by a woman who offered her a ride to school. "The student is OK and the family reported the incident to us," Campbell stated. "I would like to remind everyone to talk to your child about safety while they are walking to/from school. Also, if they think they are being followed they should not go home but go to a public place and call 911 immediately."
Anyone with information is asked to call the WCPD at (925) 943-5844.