TRENTON – A 16-year-old girl reportedly avoided an attempted abduction Monday when an unidentified man driving a white van approached her at a bus stop.
The girl, a student at Mount Desert Island High School, was riding the bus home and was dropped off at about 2:30 p.m. near the intersection of Route 3 and Route 230.
Her mother was supposed to pick her up there but was running late, so the girl started walking, according to Maine State Police Trooper Alden Bustard.
“It looks like a van pulled up alongside her and the operator asked her repeatedly if she wanted a ride,” Bustard said late Monday afternoon. “The girl said no and basically kept walking.”
The man apparently did not get out of the van or try to force the girl into the van. He left shortly after the girl walked away, the trooper said.
The girl’s mother called police when she arrived after her daughter told her what had happened.
State police troopers, Ellsworth police officers and Hancock County sheriff’s deputies were on the lookout Monday for a white, full-size van, but Bustard said they hadn’t found a suspect by late afternoon.
“We don’t have much of a vehicle description at this point,” he said.
The girl described the suspect as a white man with a dark complexion and a scruffy beard.
“It’s pretty unusual,” Bustard said. “I can’t think of an incident like this happening in recent memory.
“I guess it could have been worse. At least the girl knew enough not to approach the van.”
Earlier this summer, a 14-year-old girl was abducted and sexually assaulted in Augusta by a man wielding a knife.
Albert Dumas Jr., 33, of Whitefield, a convicted sex offender, was charged in the case and awaits a trial in Kennebec County.
Anyone with information about Monday’s incident or anyone who has seen a suspicious-looking white van is asked to contact Maine State Police at (800) 432-7381.
Bustard also said he would contact MDI High School and other schools in the area this week and tell them to keep their eyes open for suspicious activity.