CLEARWATER — Police have stepped up patrols around Clearwater High School after what they describe as a near-abduction of a 12-year-old girl who went onto the property after running away from home.
On Monday evening, Clearwater Police cruisers began searching the area around the high school at 540 S Hercules Ave. after parents who live nearby reported their daughter had run away following an argument.
A family member found the girl near the school. She said she had been pulled into some trees by a strange man near the concession area on the school grounds, where he had her sit on his lap while he made "sexually charged statements," according to police.
The girl broke free and ran for help. A passerby came to her aid.
Authorities said the man was black and in his 30s, with a beard, black T-shirt and black pants.
The girl was not identified by police because of the incident's "implications of intended sexual battery," police said.
Peter Jamison can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4157.