It’s a parent’s worst nightmare.
Your child is walking home from school, or just out for a stroll - alone - on streets that should feel safe and secure. Then, something happens that puts her very life in danger.
That’s exactly what happened in Vacaville, California when a young teen girl experienced an awful scare at the hands of a stranger, and it was all captured on home surveillance video.
On the tense footage, the unnamed student can be seen walking casually on the sidewalk, possibly checking her phone. Then a dark-colored vehicle appears on the screen.
According to the Vacaville Police Department, “the young girl was walking in a Vacaville neighborhood near Ulatis Drive and Leisure Town Road, when a man driving a dark colored Pontiac slowly drove up beside her.”
She notices, too. The car stops just a few yards ahead of her path. She stops in her tracks and moves to hide behind a parked pickup truck.
“Sensing danger, the girl screamed and hid behind a truck."
Now on high alert, the girl continues to eye the man in the car. We can’t tell if she exchanges words or not. Regardless, it’s clear she wants nothing to do with the car’s occupant.
When he moved on, the girl must have breathed a sigh of relief. But, it wasn’t over - not by a long shot.
“The car pulled away but within minutes, circled back around. The girl kept her distance from the car and stayed behind the truck.”
Apparently, the man grew impatient with the girl’s determination to avoid him at all costs and, eventually, left.
“When the car finally drove away, the girl ran away on foot.”
Police are in possession of the surveillance video and are investigating the incident.
“We’re very curious to know why an adult male would be attempting to contact a juvenile, and after several passes when it was clear she didn’t want to talk to him, he was persistent,” Vacaville police spokesman Matt Lydon said, according to NBC Bay Area.
In the meantime, Vacaville Police send a dire warning to parents to talk to their children about what to do if confronted with a similar situation.
"You can imagine as you get in close proximity to the car, anything could happen," Lydon said.
"And she distanced herself in the situation and absolutely did the right thing."
The police say that the suspect is a black male in his early 20s, his hair in short dreadlocks. The vehicle he was driving is described as a dark-colored Pontiac.
Members of the public with any information about this incident -or the suspect - are urged to notify Vacaville Police Department and ask for Detective Brian Collins (707) 469-4735.
“While this man’s intentions, innocent or not are unknown to us at this time, we hope someone in our community can help us identify him, or he can contact us so we can talk with him about what happened.”