ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Police Department said it is investigating after a suspicious man approached two Boone High School students Tuesday.
In the first incident, police said a man stopped and asked a student if she could provide directions to the school.
Police said when the student approached the vehicle, she noticed the man was masturbating.
In another incident, a 14-year-old girl was walking home from the high school near Delaney Street and Harding Street when a man in his 40s asked her twice for directions, which made her feel uncomfortable.
Police said he then asked the student to come with him, but she quickly walked away.
The student said the man was driving a white pickup truck.
At this time, police said they are not sure if the cases are related. In the meantime, police are encouraging students to walk in pairs or groups because there is safety in numbers.
The Orange County Public Schools released a statement on the incidents:
“Parents, please take this time to talk with your student about stranger danger. Remind them to always be aware of their surroundings, and encourage your student to walk in pairs or in groups, when coming to and from school or the bus stop. The safety of our students is always my top priority. Remember, if you “see or hear something, say something”. You can report anything suspicious to the school, on the Fortify Florida app or by calling the Speak Out Hotline at 1-800-423-TIPS.”
The incidents have left parents and students on edge. “It doesn’t really matter that it was girls. It could happen to anyone,” student Ethan Carpenter said. “That’s quite scary and that’s precisely why we don’t believe in walking to school,” parent Michelle Sotolongo said.