The William S Hart Union High School District office. Dan Watson/The Signal

Reports of man trying to lure teen into van sparks response

Reports of a man trying to lure a teenage girl into a van in Canyon Country on Monday night prompted a warning to parents by school officials and a response by local sheriff’s deputies.

The incident reportedly took place about 9 p.m. near the intersection of Delight Street and Esterbrook Avenue, two blocks north of Sierra Vista Junior High School.

“We took report of a man annoying and molesting a girl,” Deputy Josh Stamsek of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said Tuesday, describing details about the incident as vague.

“The man apparently asked the girl if she wanted a ride,” he said. “She told him “no” twice.”

Deputies who searched the area failed to find the van or the suspect.

Subsequently, Sierra Vista Principal Carolyn Hoffman issued an email warning to parents of students at the school about the incident.

Her message reminded “all parents and students of the importance of walking to and from school in groups and to be mindful of your surroundings.

“We received information tonight, that after school, a man in a black van with front and back windows and long windows on the sides attempted to lure a student,” she wrote. “The van had red paint markings on the side… the man driving the van was described as being dressed all in black with a black hoodie and a black hat turned backward… It was reported that he was wearing a black bandana over his mouth. He had dread-like hair and his skin tone was light to dark.”

 

The Hoffman message was then picked up by Canyon High School Principal Shellie Holcombe who, in turn, alerted the parents of her students.

 

“Last night, a safety concern was reported to Sierra Vista at 9 p.m. I have provided Mr.s Hoffman’s message to ensure Canyon Families are aware of the situation,” she prefaced the Hoffman warning.

 

“I have been in contact with the SCV Sheriff’s Department and our School Resource Officer who have confirmed additional patrols for Canyon High School and reh surrounding area,” she wrote.

 

Principals of all the schools in the  William S. Hart Union High School District were notified of the incident, district spokesman Dave Caldwell said Tuesday.

 

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