Police: We Weren’t Told Of Potential SGS Luring Incident

"We are now aware of the incident, and we are looking into it."

School district officials posted a notice on their web site about the potential luring incident, in which they asserted that township police had been immediately notified.

A potential luring incident early in the morning of April 5 involving elementary school children was never reported to township police, although a message from the school district said the FTPD was immediately notified after it happened.

Lt. Phil Rizzo, a police department spokesman, said that police did not learn of the incident until they contacted school district officials in the afternoon of April 6 – more than 30 hours after it occurred – in response to a call from the Franklin Reporter & Advocate.

“We are now aware of the incident, and we are looking into it,” Rizzo said.

This is the third reported potential luring incident involving township school children this year.

According to a message posted to the district’s web site and sent out to district parents, several Sampson G. Smith School students said that a man in a car approached them as they were walking to their bus stop April 5.

The person “tried to engage the students in conversation, which made the students feel uncomfortable so they ran,” according to the district statement.

“The incident was reported by the students when they arrived at school,” the statement reads. “The Franklin Township Police were immediately notified and are investigating this matter.”

But when first contacted on April 6 by the FR&A for more details about the incident, Rizzo said that there was no record of a report being made.

In a subsequent conversation, Rizzo said police officials contacted school district officials to confirm that the incident happened, and for information to begin their investigation.

The man in the car was only described as being Caucasian. No information about the vehicle was provided.

In an email statement April 6, schools Superintendent John Ravally wrote that “After researching the issue apparently communication from the district to the police was delayed on first attempt, however, since then I have spoken directly with Chief and communicated the situation and the police are looking into the matter.”

“In addition protocols for notifying the police in these type situations will be reviewed and necessary adjustments will be made to ensure more timely communication in the future,” he wrote.

In February, two Franklin Middle School students reported separately that they were approached while walking home from school by a man driving a black pick-up truck with tinted windows. In both instances, the children ran away.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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