Madison Middle School sent a robo-call safety alert to families tonight. We hadn’t heard about the incident that triggered it until several parents asked about it; so far as we’ve heard, the alert was only sent via robocall, and not via e-mail, but one parent forwarded the audio file and we’ve transcribed it below. The voice was that of assistant principal John McDonald and he described it as “an important safety message regarding an incident that occurred in the community today.” Here’s what follows on the recording:
This morning, we had a Madison student come to school and report an incident involving an unknown individual. The student reported that a male approximately in his early to mid 20s got off a Metro bus at the same time the student got off the Metro bus near the McDonald’s on California Avenue, approached the student, and grabbed the student. After the student went to McDonald’s, the male continued to follow the student, asking for money, and then calling the student names, after the student told him that they didn’t have any money. The student then ran to Madison and immediately reported the incident to school personnel … (then) the Seattle Police Department was contacted.
The message did not have any additional information about the incident, but continued with safety advice for parents to share with children, including walking in well-lit, well-traveled areas, not walking alone, not taking unfamiliar shortcuts, being aware of your surroundings – acknowledge people but don’t “try to stare them down” – don’t display valuable items such as phones or money, and not wearing headphones with music blocking out ambient sound and preventing them of being aware of what’s going on around them.
We’re trying to reach police to find out more about the incident and will add anything more that we find out, though it might take us until tomorrow.
ADDED: Police included this incident in an SPD Blotter post on Friday afternoon.