Man in Car Approaches Girls Near Columbia High School

Maplewood Police describe the incident as "suspicious."


In what Maplewood Police described as an "unusual" incident, a man in a Mustang convertible approached four girls walking in the vicinity of Valley Street near Columbia High School on Wednesday afternoon.

The girls, who police said ranged in age from 9 - 15, were walking near the high school at 3:34 p.m. when the man pulled up near them. He was playing loud music and and began to mimic the gestures of playing air guitar before driving off. He did not touch the girls or physically harm them, police said.

After the incident, the girls walked to the high school (which was not in session that afternoon because of Back to School night) and described what happened to a teacher, who called the police. The girls described the man as between 50-60 years of age, with grey hair and wearing a tank top. He was driving a silver Ford Mustang convertible.

"The (girls') perception was that he was asking them to get into the car," said Capt. John Perna. 

Perna said the incident was not classified as an offense or a violation, but he described it as a "suspicious condition." 

The Detective Bureau and the Youth Aid Bureau are investigating the incident and have informed school district officials. The department also put out a bulletin to police departments in surrounding communities.

If anyone has any information about the man or the car fitting the description, they should call the Maplewood Police Department at (973) 762-3400.


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