Stranger tries luring 8-year-old girl into car after school, police say

Titusville mother alerts families, no suspect identified

By James Sparvero - Reporter

TITUSVILLE, Fla. - An unidentified man attempted to lure an 8-year-old girl into his car while the third-grader and her 10-year-old brother were riding their bicycles home from school Thursday, according to Titusville police.

Police said the siblings were headed home from Coquina Elementary and were near Barna Avenue and Nicklaus Drive when the man tried luring the girl into his car by saying he had candy.

"My daughter said, 'Someone tried to kidnap me,'" the girl's mother said. "This individual stopped traffic, right by my daughter and her bike. Luckily, my daughter said, 'No, I don't need your candy,'" the mother said, asking News 6 to not be identified.

She said her children remembered what she taught them about not to trust strangers.

"These situations happen. They're in our community. They're real so these conversations need to take place," she said.

Police said the suspect was not caught and the kids are the only witnesses.

They told police the man was white, appeared to be in his 20s and he had dark hair and a beard.

The kids said he was driving a gray four-door Honda that had a dent in one of the rear doors.

Police also said this incident appears to not be related to a Titusville kidnapping attempt last year at W.W. James Park.

That day a girl bit a stranger who also tried offering free candy.

That man also was not caught.

Sandra Vidal-Diaz lives across the street from Coquina Elementary on Knox McRae Drive.

"I wish I could have seen him because I would have reported him," the concerned resident said.

"I used to walk home from school all the time, go somewhere and play until the lights came out," she said. "I feel so sorry for children nowadays."

Hoping to bring the family a little bit of comfort, Titusville police said they're stepping up patrols in that area of town. Police said that no surveillance video captured the incident and no suspect has been identified.

Anyone with information about either kidnapping attempt is asked to call Titusville police. 

Anonymous tips can also be made by calling Crimeline at (800) 423-8477.

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