Parents warned to be on alert after 'stranger danger' incident

Parents warned to be on alert after 'stranger danger' incident

MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A "stranger danger" incident in Manoa last week is prompting security reminders to parents and students.

Manoa Elementary Principal Kerry Higa said in an email to parents that the incident happened Wednesday, when three children where walking home on Manoa Road and reported being followed by two men in a white Honda sedan.

According to the children's mother, a passenger in the vehicle got out at one point and started pursuing the three children, while the driver continued following the group as well.

The students broke into a run, and the two men eventually drove away.

The three children reported the incident to their parents, and a police report was filed.

The two men were described as being in their mid-20s to -30s, with thin builds. They also both had many tattoos.

Higa said the incident is a good reminder to children to be aware of their surroundings and walk in groups when leaving campus.

"We sent a message out to our parents to make sure that our whole community is safe," Higa said, adding that the school is also reinforcing safety messages on campus.

Community members say the incident has them shaken.

"As a parent, you just get frightened and scared," said parent, Jaime Fong. "It can happen anywhere."

About two years ago, a similar incident happened where a van followed some Manoa elementary siblings. The person in the van asked the children if they wanted candy. The kids ran away and flagged down a motorist for help.

The school held assemblies during lunch to talk about safety and the school's principal said the children in both incidents did the right thing by running away and telling a trusted adult.

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