Police: Attempted child luring occurred outside West Seattle School

Seattle police are investigating an Oct. 1 attempted child luring that occurred outside Hope Lutheran School on the 4400 block of 42nd Ave. S.W.

According to the police report, a 10-year-old female Hope Lutheran student was walking towards her mom’s car near the school between 3:30 and 4 p.m. when she heard a male voice from a car parked on the north side of S.W. Oregon between 42nd and 41st say, “Hey little girl, come get in the car with me. I’ll take you home.”

The girl told police she replied, “No,” and ran to her mother’s car where she locked herself inside until her mom came out a few minutes later (the mother is part of the faculty at Hope Lutheran), according to the police report.

The mother then walked her daughter’s same route to look for the man, but found nothing.

The victim was unable to provide police with a suspect or vehicle description and police urged Hope Lutheran staff to call 911 if they see anything suspicious moving forward.

In a letter sent to parents and shared with KOMO, Hope Lutheran principal Kristen Okabayashi asked parents to be especially diligent when dropping off and picking up their children while the school performs a review of their safety protocols.

Police are still investigating a string of three flashing incidents in West Seattle last month where a man (not confirmed to be the same person at this time) exposed himself to elementary students at Holy Rosary on 42nd Ave. S.W. and Westside School on 34th Ave. S.W.

Here's the text of the Principal's letter:

October, 2, 2013

Hope Parents/Guardians,

Yesterday afternoon around 3:40 PM, a Hope female student was walking along Oregon Street between 41st Ave. and 42nd Ave., heading to her car while her mother was inside the school office. A male driver pulled over in his car and told her he was supposed to pick her up and take her home. The student immediately ran away and back to her mother. The police were contacted by the mother at home but we don’t have a lot of details besides the fact that it was a male driver.

We continue to be vigilant about watching out for people we don’t know around our school grounds, particularly at recess time and pickup time. While the above incident happened after school, our students’ safety could not be more important to us. Your kids are our kids and so we take this incident extremely seriously, and are carefully reviewing our entire safety procedures as a result. As a side note, some of you have asked about installing a door security system in the front of the school, and we are in the process of finalizing a secure system right now.

How can you help as parents? Please continue to be careful in dropping off and picking up your child and be sure that your children are with an adult at all times. If you are picking up your child after school, please be certain that you are going to them, not having them meet you in the lowers or elsewhere. Mrs. Okabayashi loves to stay and chat with you, but it also helps us monitor our students if you can leave just after you pickup your child. Please let us know immediately if you notice someone in the vicinity who you think may not belong there. Also, if you are able to volunteer to serve as a crossing guard or even just an extra person out front at pickup time at least one day a week, please let us know in the school office.

Thanks for your prayers for God’s protective arms to be around our school and all area schools and students during this time.

Kristen Okabayashi, Principal

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