Keokuk students released with caution after attempted student ab - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Keokuk students released with caution after attempted student abduction

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Keokuk Public Schools staff and Keokuk police were on alert Wednesday afternoon after a student reported being approached by an unknown man.

Principal Gary Benda says that around 1 p.m., a female high school student reported being approached by an unknown white male that appeared to be 60-70 years old, with a thin build and dark, gray hair.

The student said the man approached her around 12:30 p.m. and repeatedly asked if she needed a ride, along with other questions that made her feel uncomfortable. When the student refused the ride, the man drove away, Benda said.

Benda says the student reported the man wearing a blue t-shirt and blue jean, driving a dark green mini van with a tan interior.

"Because the person in the vehicle did not persist in his attempts to pick up the high school student, this incident was treated as a potential issue and not an emergency," Benda says.

Student drivers were told to not go to their vehicles alone and younger students were told to go straight home, or to their after school activities, and not to talk to anyone.

Staff members did monitor students walking home on several side streets surrounding the school building. Police increased their presence around the area and all other district buildings.

Charlie Hayner, whose daughter is a junior at Keokuk High School, says "she and her friends were actually scared to leave the building. That's how serious (the announcement at the school) came across."

Superintendent Tim Hood says police will have a heightened presence at the school on Thursday.

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