SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane School District has confirmed with KHQ that the latest "child luring" attempt at Hamblen Elementary was a false report. If we get any more information from the school district we'll post it ASAP.
SPOKANE, Wash – Spokane Police tell KHQ no arrest has been made in the attempted child luring outside Hamblen Elementary right before school began Tuesday morning.
In that case, a man described as in his early 40's, 5'11", with a dark complexion and dark hair put his hand on the shoulder of a 9-year-old girl and reportedly told her, "Your parents don't want you to go to school today. I'm supposed to drive you home."
That girl told the man no, and ran inside the school, where she reported it to school staff. She also said the man was driving a dark or black SUV.
Wednesday, school principal Dr. Rita Forsythe told KHQ's Kelsey Watts a number of people reported seeing that suspect's vehicle after hearing reports of the incident, and those tips have been forwarded to Spokane Police detectives.
Dr. Forsythe also added the school has seen a wonderful response from parents about this, and Wednesday morning they were walking with their kids to school, as well as walking around the school property making eye contact with people in cars and acting as "watchdogs."
The third grader who was approached Tuesday is being praised as "brave and smart" for doing the right thing - a response which may be a result of the personal safety curriculum that's taught in every Spokane elementary school since the early 1990's.
"It helps kids know about safe adults, helps kids know what to do if there's a stranger or any kind of dangerous situation and how to keep themselves safe," said Student Support Services Coordinator Bonnie Ducharme.
"They need to know to tell a trusted adult, and first of all, who are those trusted adults in their schools and of course their family. They need to know people don't have the right to touch them in any inappropriate way. They need to know who to report to, and they need to know what to do if a stranger approaches them, and yelling, running away, not going with anyone that they don't know are all good options."
If you have any tips that can help in this case, call Crime Check at 456-2233.
There is no reason to believe the man involved in Tuesday's scare is a sex offender; however, it's interesting to note that per Washington State law, sex offenders can live anywhere they choose – even right next to a school – unless a court order says otherwise.
To search for registered sex offenders near you, or to sign up for free alerts through "Offender Watch," a site run locally by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, CLICK HERE