VERSAILLES — Police are looking for a man who tried to entice a Woodford County Middle School student into his minivan while she was walking to a school bus stop Thursday morning.
Officers said the man drove away after the 14-year-old screamed and pulled out her cell phone as if to call for help. She later called her mother, who alerted police.
Versailles police officers and Woodford County sheriff's deputies searched the immediate area but found no sign of the man. The case remained under investigation late Thursday.
"Fortunately, the student did exactly what she had been taught to do," Woodford County School Superintendent Scott Hawkins said. "We're all just thankful that she is safe."
According to authorities, the incident occurred about 7:20 a.m. Thursday as the student was walking along Macey Avenue in Versailles to meet a friend at a school bus stop. Woodford County Schools opened Wednesday.
Versailles police said a man driving a solid green, 1990s Mercury minivan followed slowly behind the student, then drove up alongside her and asked "if she needed a ride."
The student said no and kept walking. But the man persisted, asking, "Do you want to get into this vehicle?"
At that point, officers said, the student screamed "no" and pulled out her cell phone. The man drove away.
According to police, the student then called her mother and went to her friend's home until the school bus arrived. She was interviewed by the school system's resource officer as soon as she reached school on the bus.
Hawkins said the school system will use the incident to remind staff members, students and parents that it's important to talk about the proper steps to follow in such situations.
Versailles police said the minivan driver has dark hair and a light complexion.