Police investigate reports of individual approaching students near Willard Middle School

Related Posts

Police are investigating multiple reports of an individual seen Friday morning approaching two middle school students near Willard Middle School in Berkeley.

According to a Berkeley Police Department advisory alert released Friday evening, two middle school students walking on Telegraph Avenue near Stuart Street about 8:20 a.m. were confronted by an individual who directed them to enter his van.

The suspect was described as a heavy-set Hispanic male between the ages of 30 and 40, with dark hair and a mustache, wearing a baseball cap and driving an old-model, dark-green minivan — possibly a Nissan Quest — with tinted rear windows.

According to the alert, after the students refused to enter the van and continued walking, the driver followed them and asked them to enter the vehicle once again. The students then headed quickly to the school office, where they reported the incident to staff members, who called 911.

While in the process of investigating this incident, BPD was made aware of a second incident that occurred about the same time at the intersection of Telegraph Avenue and Derby Street.

In the second incident, the suspect — whose description and vehicle matched that of the suspect in the first incident — allegedly waved at a female student and motioned for her to approach his van. When the student’s father appeared, the suspect suddenly drove away.

In the alert, BPD said the student exhibited “excellent personal safety habits” by immediately leaving the area and contacting authorities.

Police have contacted Willard Middle School staff and personnel from the Berkeley Unified School District to share information regarding the case and safety measures.

BPD requested that anyone with information regarding the incidents contact its office at 510-981-5900.

Check back for updates.

Contact Logan Goldberg at [email protected].