Police are investigating after an older man tried to lure a child into his van in the Hudson Valley.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office notified the Arlington Central School District that a middle school student was approached by a stranger.

The Union Vale Middle School student was approached by a man in his mid-50s after she was dropped off by her school bus, police say. Police were told the man asked if the girl needed a ride. When she said “no,” the man drove away.

The man is described as having gray hair and a nose piercing. He drove an older black minivan with tinted windows.

Anyone with any further information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 845-486-3800.

The Arlington Central School District is advising all Hudson Valley parents to use this as an opportunity to remind your child about basic safety measures:

  •  Don’t talk to strangers.
  •  Don’t go anywhere with someone you don’t know.
  •  Stay more than an arm’s reach from strangers. If a stranger approaches you, seek help immediately.
  •  Trust your instincts, if you feel you are being followed or something is not right, seek help immediately.
  •  Use the buddy system. Avoid walking anywhere alone.
  •  Review contact telephone numbers and home safety practices.
  •  If a stranger grabs you, do everything you can to stop him or her from pulling you away. Drop to the ground, kick, hit, bite, and scream. Do whatever it takes to attract the attention of others who can help you. If someone is dragging you away, scream, “this is not my dad,” or “this is not my mom.”
  •  Report any suspicious activity to your local school and police department.

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