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Posted on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

Stranger approaches student near bus stop

By Cindy Heflin

Michigan State Police are trying to identify a man in a white van who approached a Chelsea High School student Tuesday afternoon and offered her a ride.

The incident occurred near a bus stop at Reiman and Notten roads near the Washtenaw-Jackson County line, said Trooper Pat Gallagher. The student was walking along Reiman Road to her home when the man drove up near her and offered her a ride. The girl refused and continued walking to her house.

The driver continued on down the road, eventually turning around and leaving the area, Gallagher said.

Police and school officials have received several calls from parents concerned about the incident, Gallagher said. He’s also received a few tips from people who think they may have seen the van in the area.

Gallagher said it’s unclear whether a crime was committed, but he does hope to identify the man and speak to the prosecutor’s office about possible charges.

The van was described as a white Ford Econoline Van with tinted rear windows and a broken rear taillight. Bus drivers will be advised to watch for the vehicle, the school district wrote in an email to parents about the incident.

The driver of the van was a white man in his mid-20s with acne or red marks on his face, Gallagher said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Brighton post of the Michigan State Police at 810-227-1051.

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Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2 p.m.

From: Angel, Nick [] Sent: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 8:56 PM To: Angel, Nick Subject: Follow up from yesterday's email The State Police have contacted us regarding the student who was approached on Tuesday by a stranger in a white van. The person of interest and van have been located. The situation has been resolved to the satisfaction of the police. Thank you to everyone for helping to keep our students and community safe. -- Nick Angel Principal


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:18 a.m.

This guy had to go and give the five thousand other white van drivers in this county a bad name!


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6:58 p.m.

Unless you have something to hide? You have nothing to fear except being pulled over because of the tail light situation.

Mike H.

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

Guys: "van was described as a white Ford Econoline Van with tinted rear windows and a broken rear taillight" That tells you all you need to know. Anyone driving a beat-up van with tinted windows couldn't possibly be a good samaritan. I'm guessing the 'possible charges' to be filed are driving with a broken rear taillight. Let's all keep watch for this vehicle.

Linda Peck

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 10:35 p.m.

I appreciate that there is concern here. It is not a laughing matter when a person approaches a child walking or standing alone. That child could be utterly defenseless against many attackers. If I were her mother, I would be extremely concerned. Thank you for reporting this.

Marshall Applewhite

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

I'm genuinely curious..... If all the person did is ask if she wanted a ride, what charges could even possibly be filed? Did the van have "Free Candy" painted on the side on the side or something?


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 10:16 p.m.

maybe he was just being nice


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6:56 p.m.

You gotta be kidding...right? Nice? I highly doubt it.