A Mount Vernon High School student walking to school Thursday morning was approached by a man who tried to persuade her to enter his vehicle, according to Fairfax County Police.
The 16-year-old student was walking to school near the intersection of Old Vernon Court and Old Mount Vernon Road near the school when she was approached by an African-American male driving a newer model red Ford Mustang, Fairfax County Police spokesperson Don Gotthardt said.
The incident took place between 10:30 and 10:45 a.m. The man appeared to be in his 30s and was wearing a gray top and blue jeans. The suspect attempted to persuade the student to get in his car, and she refused. The suspect fled the scene.
The student reported the incident once she arrived at school and the police were called. Gotthardt said the student did not suffer any injuries and "did the right thing" by reporting the incident to police
A red Ford Mustang parked on Vernon Court is registered to another resident on that street who does not match the suspect's description, Gotthardt said.
Mount Vernon High School principal Nardos King issued a statement to parents via email Thursday. King urged parents to remind their children to heed caution when walking to school and bus stops.
"We are committed to providing a safe environment for all students. The Fairfax County Police Department and the FCPS Office of Safety and Security are our partners in helping us protect your children," King said in the email. "Please talk with your son or daughter and urge him or her to always be aware of their surroundings and to avoid any seemingly dangerous situations. Students should travel in pairs to and from school and bus stops whenever possible and immediately report to an adult any suspicious cars or people they may encounter."
Gotthardt reminds residents to walk in well-populated areas if they need to walk anywhere, and to remember this safety tip if approached by a suspicious person.
"Take a noise-making device, or take your cell phone and be ready to call 911," he said.