Pittsfield school officials say man tried to lure student into vehicle
PITTSFIELD >> City school officials have notified parents about a report that a man tried to lure a student into a vehicle early Wednesday.
A Reid Middle School student walking to school was approached by a man in a blue van near Linden Street and urged to get into the vehicle, according to a message recorded by Superintendent Jason "Jake" McCandless.
The phone message was sent at 8:01 a.m. to parents of elementary school students, for whom school starts later. School already was underway for middle and high school students by the time the message was sent.
Police said a second student reported a similar incident later Wednesday morning. McCandless said that it is his understanding that the same vehicle was involved.
The first student said she was approached about 6:55 a.m. by a man driving a blue van while she was walking to school in the area of Linden Street.
She instead went into a convenience store on North Street and had the clerk contact police for her. Police were able to track down and speak to the registered owner of the vehicle and are no longer looking for the van, according to a statement released Wednesday afternoon.
After a School Committee meeting on Wednesday evening, McCandless said he expected to contact parents again Wednesday night or Thursday morning to update them on what school officials know of the situation.
As of Wednesday evening, it remained unclear whether authorities believe a threat exists in the community.
Police continue to interview potential victims and witnesses and ask anyone with information to contact the Pittsfield Police Department Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705.