CMPD step up patrols after man attempts to lure boy into truck

by: Jeff Smith Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

North Charlotte police said they're stepping up their patrols after two alleged incidents in which a man attempted to lure a middle-school boy into his pickup truck.

Eyewitness News spoke with the 7th grader and his mom about the scary incidents on Mayer House Court.

"I just feel like I'm being stalked," said Ryan Fletcher, a student at Coulwood Middle School.

Ryan Fletcher, 12, said he recognized the big red pickup truck he saw at the bus stop Monday afternoon--the same stranger sitting behind the wheel.

And Fletcher said the man yelled out the same "creepy" request.

"He said, 'Hey you! Come here,'" he said.

"Did he say why he wanted to talk to you?" asked Eyewitness News.

"No."

Fletcher first saw the red pickup truck on Sunday afternoon. He said the driver was watching him and his friends play pickup basketball at a neighborhood court.

The driver asked Fletcher to come to the truck. Fletcher told Eyewitness News he ignored the request and walked straight home.

"I'm sure he's not the only kid that's been approached. The guy must be very comfortable for it to happen two days in a row," said Fletcher's mother.

Police are still investigating, but officers have already alerted neighbors and are increasing patrols.

"We've had officers in the neighborhood both in the morning time when the school bus picks up, and in the afternoon when the school bus lets off," said Lt. Steve Huber.

Several parents told Eyewitness News they're now asking their kids to text or call them as soon as they get off the school bus, and to always walk in groups.

"It's terrifying to know that something could happen to your child," said neighbor Ashley Helms. "It's just real scary."

Lt. Huber said Fletcher did the right thing by ignoring the stranger and going straight home. He wants parents to tell their kids to do the same thing if a stranger calls out to them.

Police said they'll increase their patrols for the rest of the week.

Officers are looking out for a red pickup truck with oversized tires, possibly a Toyota. There's only a vague description of the driver.