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Police investigating report of incident at school

4/25/2012

By MIKE CORN and JUDY SHERARD

By MIKE CORN and JUDY SHERARD

Hays Daily News

Hays Police are investigating a Tuesday report involving three O'Loughlin Elementary School students who reported being approached after school and invited to get inside a van two men were driving.

The incident was reported shortly after school was dismissed Tuesday afternoon and involved a group of students, according to a statement by police. The students were both boys and girls.

Two men reportedly were inside a white van and invited the students to get inside.

Hays Police Chief Don Scheibler said the information provided by the students suggest the van pulled up, "asked the three children to get inside the van, and the three children ran off."

Police were notified after the group of students "loudly refused" and ran down an alley to a student's home.

The students then told the parents who called the police.

Although Scheibler said few details surrounding the incident are available, all of it has been passed along to the department's patrol division to help them in the search for either the van or the two men inside.

He said police will continue to make it a priority to maintain a presence in school zones across the city both before and after school.

"School zones are a priority for us every day," Scheibler said.

Hays USD 489 Superintendent Will Roth said he first became aware of the situation through a Facebook post. While he hasn't talked to police directly, he said the school district has been asked to review security camera footage from O'Loughlin.

Roth forwarded along to other school principals the information he had, asking them to remind students to be careful and pass along the information to teachers and parents.

Hays Police said while they are looking for the vehicle and its occupants, students should practice safety.

That can include traveling in pairs or groups, remaining alert to surroundings, never getting into a stranger's vehicle, never giving out personal information to a stranger and if a student isn't comfortable with a person or situation to get away and get help.

Police recommend calling 911 if students are in a situation they think is dangerous.

Anyone with information assisting in the investigation are asked to call either Detective Dave Bunger or School Resource Officer Nick Eiden at (785) 625-1011.