Detectives: Older man grabs 11-year-old girl at school bus stop

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BRADENTON-- For the second time in less than a week, authorities in Manatee County are investigating a suspicious incident involving an older man and a young girl.

According to the Manatee Sheriff's Office, on Wednesday morning, an 11-year-old girl was grabbed by an older man, while waiting for her school bus to arrive. It happened in the 5900 block of 5th Street East.

"She sees a white van. It pulls off the road, and a guy gets out and comes toward her. He approaches her and starts asking her questions. He then grabs her arm, and she's able to break away," said Dave Bristow with the Sheriff's Office.

Parents who live in the area say they are scared about what happened.

"My daughter won't be walking to school anymore," said Kristin Winstead. "It's scary as a mom to think that one day your kid is here, and one day they may not be."

At this time, authorities do not believe Wednesday's incident is linked to another suspicious event that happened a few miles up the road. In that case, a young girl, was approached by an older man, who tried to lure her in to his car with a teddy bear.

In the case involving the bus stop, the suspect is described as:

  • Older white man
  • Gray hair
  • Wearing a blue and white striped shirt and black pants
  • Driving a white van with multiple windows

In the case involving the teddy bear, the suspect is described as:

  • Older white man
  • 55-65 years old
  • No facial hair
  • Bald spot on head
  • Driving a gray Mercury Grand Marquis

Anyone with information on any of these cases is asked to call Manatee Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.