Following the terrible ending to the Jessica Ridgeway case, Jefferson County school officials twice this week have sent notices to parents informing them about incidents involving strangers and students near schools that have been reported to police.
A notice on Wednesday was sent to parents in south Jefferson County about an incident near Falcon Bluffs Middle School on Monday that was reported to the sheriff’s office. The male that was driving the vehicle stopped the car and yelled at the student, who then ran away. The man ran after him and caught him, but the student managed to get away. The man is described as a white male, 35 – 40 years of age, 200-plus pounds with medium salt and pepper hair.
Another notice, about a separate incident that occurred that day near Arvada K-8 at Memorial Park at West 59th Avenue and Olde Wadsworth Boulevard, was sent to parents in Arvada on Monday. A student reported that a man approached her while she was on the way to school at about 7:45 a.m. Arvada police say the man had goatee style facial hair, appeared to be in his 30s and was about 6 feet tall. He was wearing a black hoodie and a green shirt. The student told school staff and staff called Arvada police, according to the report.
Police expect more reports because of a heightened diligence by parents and students in the wake of the Jessica Ridgeway case.
Jeffco School District has announced that the district will release a notice about every stranger incident. The notice tells parents that “if a stranger approaches your child, whether it is at school or outside of school, be sure that your child knows what to do: yell or shout, run away and immediately tell an adult.”
It instructs parents to “stress to your child the importance of going straight to school and coming home immediately after dismissal, or leaving the bus stop. The release also says “remind your child that if he/she sees anything suspicious around the neighborhood or school, they need to immediately contact the police department and notify the school.”