Authorities are investigating after a man approached and followed a 10-year-old girl as she was walking home from school in Lauderdale Lakes.
The incident happened last Friday afternoon, Feb. 21 near Vincent Torres Memorial Park in the 4500 block of Northwest 36th Street, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.
The suspect, who was riding a blue bicycle, approached the girl and tried to carry on a conversation with the girl, asking her if her mother was home and if she wanted to go to a friend's house with him.
When the girl got to her apartment building, the suspect again asked if her mother was home and when she said no, he started following her.
“He came all of the way out the gate, through the hallway and followed me. He was asking me questions, he was asking me where’s my mom,” the girl said.
She was afraid to get into the elevator with the man so she began walking the stairs, as the man followed her.
At one point, a neighbor, who heard the man trying to lure the girl away from her balcony, yelled at the suspect to leave her alone, and he fled the scene, the BSO said.
Like her daughter, the girl’s mother was always scared.
“You never know when it’s going to hit home, you know? She's only 10,” the mother said. “I mean, I wouldn’t want it to happen to anybody, that's why it's best if they find this guy and get him off the streets.”
The girl and the neighbor both said they have seen the suspect riding his bicycle in the area after school lets out.
"We don't know what his intentions were, we don't know why he approached this little girl but we want to warn parents and families in this area to be careful," BSO spokeswoman Dani Moschella said.
The suspect is described as a black male, 18-20 years old, about 6-foot-1, between 130-150 pounds, who had puffy hair under a red cap, the BSO said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.