Man targets girl walking near middle school

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Fresno, Calif. - Fresno law enforcement leaders are concerned a man who tried to lure a girl into his car Friday afternoon may try to strike again and it could happen anywhere. Fresno County Sheriff's investigators say at around noon Friday a man pulled up to a student at the corner of Thorne and Holland near Wawona Middle School and tried to convince the student to get in the car with him. 

The prowler, a white man in his 40s with his hair pulled back in a ponytail pulled up to the curb in a silver Mercedes and flung his door open offering the girl money to get in the car with him. When she said no he took off. 

"It is a little scary, well it's a lot scary having children that go to this school here," said Ericka, who lives in the area with her family and has kids who attend nearby Wawona Middle School. "it's a little bit of an eye opener because you wouldn't expect something like that to happen in your own neighborhood." 
People in the area still can't believe a man with a ponytail driving a silver Mercedes tried to lure a student into his car in the middle of the day. 

Right away the Fresno County Sheriff's Department began looking for the suspect on the ground and had a helicopter searching from the sky. In this quiet neighborhood and others across the Valley investigators hope parents will talk to their kids about situations like this and what to do if it happens. 
"Yell kick scream, fight, do anything you can to draw attention and try to get this person away from you and the last thing is report it. Don't just keep it to yourself thinking oh, this is no big deal," said Tony Botti of the Fresno County Sheriff's Department. 

The victim targeted by this prowler, a middle school girl, is being praised for her quick thinking going for help at the school office. 
"I think this young girl did the smart thing and ran to where she knew she was safe," said Ericka.

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