New Kensington, Arnold police investigating separate suspicious incidents involving children
New Kensington police are investigating the report of a suspicious incident involving a child Thursday — the morning after a child luring attempt was reported in Arnold.
An 8-year-old Roy A. Hunt Elementary student told administrators and police that an unknown man made contact with him at a bus stop around 7:45 a.m. Thursday at Riverview Drive and Center Avenue, New Kensington Police Chief Robert Deringer reported.
The student told authorities a heavy set, older white man with a gray beard and wearing a brown coat and shorts pulled up to him at the bus stop and said, “I’ll be back to kidnap you tomorrow, maybe.”
Deringer said the man was reportedly driving a full-size Ford or Chevrolet van with gray spots.
He called the incident suspicious but declined to classify it as a child luring attempt because the suspect allegedly did not try to get the student into the van.
The chief noted the suspect and vehicle description was similar to information reported in connection with a child luring attempt in Arnold on Wednesday.
Anyone with information regarding the New Kensington incident should contact that police department at 724-339-7533.
The Wednesday incident in Arnold
A 12-year-old Arnold girl ran from her home Wednesday afternoon after an older man with a white beard came to the front door and told her he was supposed to pick her up after school, city police said.
The girl’s father told police no one was supposed to do that, according to Arnold Patrolman Ryan Hanford.
The attempted child-luring prompted city police to increase patrols and notify New Kensington-Arnold School District, which in turn alerted parents through calls and a message on the district’s Facebook page.
The incident happened about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday at a house near Woodmont Avenue and Rankin Street.
Hanford said the girl’s father told police an older man with a white beard was driving a tan vehicle with rust on it and beeping the horn near their house.
The girl looked out the door through a peephole when she heard the horn beeping and saw the man and the van. The man got out, walked to the front door and knocked. When the girl asked, “What do you want?” the man allegedly replied, “Your father told me to come pick you up after school, and you’re to come with me.”
Hanford said the girl got scared and ran out the back door to a neighbor’s house. The front door was locked.
Around the same time, Hanford said, police received another report that a man fitting the same description had been spotted in the 1500 block of Third Avenue. The only difference was he was reported to be wearing a cowboy hat.
“Other kids saw this on Facebook and then they responded and said, ‘Yeah, we saw this vehicle … he had a cowboy hat on and he had a white beard,” Hanford said.
The incident didn’t happen on school property or at a school bus stop, but police Chief Eric Doutt told school officials about it to make sure parents would be made aware, Hanford said.
Superintendent John Pallone on Wednesday said the district has a good relationship with its police departments and it’s prudent to make children aware of potential dangers in the communities.
Hanford said the incident is being treated as a serious offense.
“We increased our patrols before and after school to keep an eye out for the safety of the kids and to look for this actor and the description that was given to us,” he said.