Pasco deputies looking for man suspected of trying to lure girl

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – Investigators with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office are looking for a man suspected of trying to lure a girl into his SUV.

Detectives say it happened at 2:30 p.m on Thursday, at the intersection of Orange Grove and Washington Street in New Port Richey.

The girl was walking home from her bus stop when a man who was driving a small, blue, SUV approached her. He asked her several times where she was going and if she needed a ride.

Corina Hoffman said the man saw her daughter as soon as she got off the bus.

“Asked her if she wanted him to give her a ride, where she was going? If he could give her a ride somewhere,” said Hoffman.

Hoffman said it was very clear that her daughter is young and had just walked off a school bus.

“She had her lunch box and her backpack; it was very obvious that she was a kid and he must have seen her get off the bus and past her up to come back just to talk to her. So, it was kind of scary,” said Hoffman.

Detectives said the man never got out of the SUV and did not touch the victim in any way.

The victim described the man as an Arab male with spiky hair.

The sheriff’s office released an illustration of the suspect and photo of the SUV.

Friday, Judy Mangas told News Channel 8 she has seen the car in the area.

“It was about 5 p.m. and I remember seeing the vehicle parked over there,” said Mangus, who lives across the street from the school bus stop.

Pasco County Sergeant Michael Rosa said the victim did all of the right things.

“She didn’t communicate with the subject, she didn’t even stop to talk to him, which we want every juvenile not to do that,” said Rosa.

Still, neighbors like Robert Bedford are concerned, because the incident happened on his street and there are a number of young children in the area.

“I’ve heard a few things like this kind of thing happening around the area and it just makes you real paranoid,” said Bedford.

Detectives would like to speak with the suspect. If you have information that can help detectives call 1-800-706-2488

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