Police: Man grabs girl at bus stop in Bridgeton

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BRIDGETON, MO (KTVI) - Bridgeton Police say that a man tried to grab a 9-year-old girl and to get her into his van while she waited for her school bus. The incident happened about 8am Wednesday near Majella Drive and Muro. The girl was at her bus stop alone when the man in the van pulled up. He asked her to help him search in his van for his lost cell phone. She refused. He got out and grabbed her by the arm. Just then her bus started coming up the street. She ran and told the bus driver.

The suspect, who was driving a white panel van, fled the area. He is described as a 40 year old white male with a tattoo on his forearm. He has brown hair, brown eyes a black ball cap and a camouflage shirt or jacket.

It was a frightening ordeal for the girl and her mother. The mother did not want to be identified, she said, “I was at work when I got the call I almost threw up on my desk. I was very scared.”

Bridgeton Police Major Mark Mossotti said, “Anytime we have an incident like this it raises the hair on everyone’s neck in the neighborhood. We’re going to increase patrols and make sure that we are visible out there as we seek what happened in this incident and bring the person to justice.

The mother said her daughter is coping as best she can, “She’s doing okay, she’s a little scared but she’s doing okay.”

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for parents. Last week a ten year old girl said a woman tried to lure her into her mini-van three separate times in Ellisville. The girl ran home and was not injured.

Over man was charged with grabbing a girl from a neighbor’s front porch in Wentzville over the weekend and running away. Police said he told them a voice in his head directed him to kill the first person he saw. He threw the girl to the ground. She was not seriously injured.

Police are minding parents to go over stranger danger rules with their children as a new school year begins. The mother of the Bridgeton girl had gone over those rules Tuesday night after an alert from the Pattonville School District. The girl used what she learned this morning.