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Police search for man who grabbed girl near Orlando community center

Cops investigate 2 reports of girls grabbed

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando police said an 11-year-old girl reported that an unknown man grabbed her Monday afternoon while she was walking home from a local community center.

The child said she was able to break away after the man grabbed her outside Stonewall Jackson Middle School near Engelwood Community Center on La Costa Drive.

Staffers at the community center are warning kids about stranger danger, and now parents are rethinking how to protect their kids after school.

"Orlando police are investigating a possible attempted abduction near our school," said a phone message sent to parents Wednesday afternoon from a nearby school.

It happened around 4:50 p.m. as she walked alone in the crosswalk.

The girl said the stranger had parked his brown and black SUV outside the school nearly every day for the past week, seemingly just "waiting." He had previously asked her questions, like her age and school, until he finally grabbed her by her arm.

Police said the child had just left Engelwood Community Center and was on her way home.

Michelle Muriel learned from her children about the warnings of the suspicious man in the area.

"I will talk to my husband about doing something differently, because they walk from their school to here," Muriel said. "But we may need to have better protection."

Police described the suspect as a Hispanic man, about 40, with a dark complexion and black hair with some gray hair. He is approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs 190-200 pounds and is stocky and muscular. He was driving an SUV with black on the bottom and brown on the top. You can see the police composite sketch of the man above.

In another incident, reported on Nov. 9 near Acceleration Academy High School on South Semoran Boulevard, police said a man whistled at a girl, then touched her inappropriately before leaving. 

Police have not said if the two incidents are related.

Contact the Orlando Police Department if you have any information on the incidents.