Man offers to pay 12-year-old girl to get in his van, police say

Man approached student twice on her way to school


WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – A middle school student walking to school was approached twice by a man in a van and asked if she needed a ride, then offered money to get into the vehicle, Winter Haven police said.

According to a news release, the 12-year-old girl was walking to Denison Middle School along 5th Street Northeast just before 8 a.m. Thursday when a man drove up to her in a dark-colored minivan, asking if she needed a ride.

When the girl said no, the man followed her and approached a second time, asking her again if she wanted a ride, police said.

Investigators said the man then offered the girl $20 to get into the van.

The student made it to school safely and reported the incident to administrators.

The person in the van was described to police as black male, 30 to 40 years old, with a medium complexion and thin build, according to a release.

Police are asking anyone in the area of 5th Street Northeast or 4th Street and Avenue A Southeast during the time frame of 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Thursday to contact Winter Haven detectives at 863-291-5620.

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