Middle-school student reports suspicious incident with stranger

By: Mary Beth Almond | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published March 18, 2024


BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — The Bloomfield Township Police Department is investigating an incident of stranger-danger involving a suspicious vehicle and a middle school student.

Police said a man in a silver or gray car approached a middle school student as she walked home from the bus stop in the area of Spruce and Woodbank March 5.

The man reportedly pulled up next to the student, rolled down his driver-side window and stuck his arm out toward the student, with his cellphone screen facing the student.

“Was he videotaping her? We don’t know that. But from what it sounds like, he was maybe trying to show her something on the phone,” said Officer Nick Soley of the Bloomfield Township Police Department. “There were no words spoken. The student immediately got spooked and just ran off to her home.”

The student reported the incident to her parents, who contacted the school. The incident was reported to police March 7.

The Bloomfield Township Police said they encourage parents to immediately report any concerns to officers.

“We’re trying to stress to the parents to report it to us right away. … Call the police right away and let us check the area,” Soley said.

The male suspect is described as an Hispanic man, 20-30 years old, with a black mustache, and he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt covering his head.

The silver or gray vehicle is believed to be a Honda Civic, Accord, or similar style, bearing a white Michigan license plate with blue letters.

The incident comes a few weeks after a white male in a gray Ford van approached two middle school students as they walked home from the bus stop in the area of Peabody Drive and Tall Oaks Road Feb. 14. The male reportedly pulled up next to the students and asked if they had a phone. The students, who felt uncomfortable, immediately ran home without engaging with the male and reported the incident to their parents, who contacted police. Officers were dispatched to the area, but they were unable to locate the van. The male is described as white, 20-30 years old, and wearing a backward baseball hat. The van is an older Ford with rust spots, specifically on the grille. It appears to only have front driver and passenger windows.

Police are continuing to investigate both reports.

“We’re getting (stranger danger incidents) more and more often, and I think that’s a tribute to our students being more and more aware and reporting them,” Soley said. “We haven’t had any more incidents on the gray vehicle, or the van, or any stranger-dangers where kids feel threatened.”

Police said people should stay vigilant of their surroundings, not to engage anyone that approaches them or their children inappropriately, and to immediately call 911.

Parents are also asked to remind their children about stranger danger and to contact a trusted adult when something doesn’t feel right.

“I hope that it was someone that just didn’t realize this was a seventh grader and was asking for directions or something,” Solely said. “We don’t have any one way or another to know. There was no conversation, but she did the right thing. She immediately ran away.”

Anyone with any information on either incident should contact the Bloomfield Township School Resource Officer at (248) 433-7770.