EAST ST. LOUIS – An East St. Louis's mother is worried after a stranger approached her daughter at her school bus stop.
Now, the mother and her daughter are speaking only to Fox 2/News 11.
Kenisha Harper waited for her 13-year-old daughter Kairena Hairiston to get off the school bus on Monday afternoon.
The bus is now picking up and dropping off Kairena right by her East St. Louis home after an incident last Friday morning.
Kairena was waiting for the bus alone at what was her stop at 22nd and Tudor not far from her home when she says a man approached her.
“He was like do you want to come over here, do you want to come over here. And I just kept looking at him like what I don`t know you, I`m just going to walk the other direction so I walked other direction,” explained Kairena.
She added, “I was kind of scared and nervous at the same time. But then I was thinking positive like okay ain`t nothing going to happen to me, just do what my momma told me, do this and that and when the bus comes tell the bus driver.”
And that`s exactly what Kairena did, quickly getting on the bus and explaining to the driver what happened.
The driver saw the man, but a detailed description of him hasn`t been released.
“I was actually horrified, I was heartbroken, and I was shocked because like I said it was a surreal reality that something like that could even happen,” said Kenisha Harper, mother.
East St. Louis Police Chief Kendall Perry says the man was on a bicycle and asked Kairena from about a block away if she wanted to ride with him.
Perry calls what happened a suspicious incident, saying he is stepping up patrols in the area and wants to talk with the man.
Meanwhile, East St. Louis School District 189 notified families about what took place on Monday afternoon.
Spokesperson Sydney Stigge-Kaufman, MSW, released a statement to us reading in part, “East St. Louis School District 189 security staff and school administration have been working together with local law enforcement to ensure students are safe.”
Kenisha, says her daughter is a cancer survivor and that she moved from Chicago to escape violence there, is thankful she`s okay.
She wants the man found.
“It`s very important to see what his intentions was, what his thought process is, and just why, just why.”