Girl claims stranger in white van offered her candy during walk to school
September 19, 2018 10:28 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The walk to school for Nakija Norwood had become routine. Most days the 11-year-old leaves her grandma’s house around 8:30 and takes the 10 minute trot down 13th Street to Washington Middle School. But Wednesday her walk was cut short by a man in a white van.
“I was listening to music and a white van came and asked me if I wanted a ride to school and he said he would give me candy,” Norwood said.
Norwood said she remembered her mother’s warnings about strangers so she ran, hid behind a bush, and called her grandma to pick her up.
“My biggest thing I always tell them, ‘stranger danger don’t talk to strangers,’” Norwood’s mom Gabrielle Gomez said.
Gomez filed a report with the school and with Albuquerque Police. The principal sent out a warning to parents and said there would be more officers patrolling the area Thursday morning.
While Norwood’s reaction was to get away, she still got a good look at the man and his van. She describes the man as native, with long black hair in a braid. He was wearing a black shirt or black jacket. According to Norwood, he was driving a white utility van with no writing and dark windows.
While Gomez knew her daughter got to school safely she still had a tough day.
“I was scared for her and like ‘is she okay?’ How she felt at that moment… just needed to make sure she was okay,” Gomez said.
Norwood said her grandma will take her to school from now on, but she has some advice for her classmates.
“If someone asks you to go in the car don’t listen or if it’s someone you don’t know and they come and ask you for candy or to go on a walk with the dog don’t listen to them,” she said.
Updated: September 19, 2018 10:28 PM
Created: September 19, 2018 09:45 PM
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