Elyria City Schools warning parents after student is approached by man

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ELYRIA, Ohio -- Elyria City Schools are warning parents after a high school student says she was approached by a man and offered a ride Tuesday afternoon.

According to police, Pamela Vancs, 18, said the man drove up alongside her near the intersection of 6th Street and East Avenue and offered her a ride around 1 p.m. Tuesday. Despite her saying no, Vancs said the man followed alongside her for about 10 minutes.

"I was like, this guy's a creep. I want nothing to do with him. I'm not trying to get kidnapped," she told Fox 8 News.

She said she put in her headphones and gripped her mace tightly as she headed for the Convenient Food Mart store on East River Street.

"The first thing I thought of was just try to ignore him, and hopefully he would go away," Vancs said.

Vancs reported that she told workers at the convenience store about the man and one of them told him to leave. When she got home, her mother called police.

"I was just focused on getting away from the guy and trying to get somewhere someone could help me," Vancs said.

Extra patrols have also been placed in neighborhoods near the district's schools as a precaution.

The driver of the car was described as being a white male in his 40s with a white beard and full head of white hair. The car was described as being older and black with black tinted windows, possibly a Ford.

Officials say the student is safe, but they warn parents to be "extra vigilant and aware of your child's comings and goings, and the paths they take to and from school."

Last month, Lorain schools were on lockdown after three different girls were inappropriately approached, grabbed or assaulted by a man during their walk to school. All three ran to safety. The suspect was described as white, in his mid-20s or 30s, 5'10" tall and wearing dark clothing and possibly a mask.

Also last month in Elyria, a man with a similar description to the Lorain suspect tried to abduct a 10-year-old girl from her bedroom. She was able to get away, but so was the suspect.

There is no word on if police feel there is a connection between last month's incidents and the Tuesday incident.

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