Family credits fib for girl's escape from stranger who approached her after school

VIDEO: Family credits fib for girl's escape from stranger who approached her after school

EDGEWATER, Fla. — A man approached an 11-year-old girl while she was riding her bike home from Indian River Elementary School Tuesday afternoon, the Edgewater Police Department said.

Police said the man drove up to the girl in a newer Chevrolet Traverse on Travelers Palm Drive near 22nd Street and Sabal Palm Drive, where he offered her a ride.

Ray Peacock, the girl's stepfather, told Channel 9 on Wednesday that she was uninjured.

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"She is not letting it get to her too much," he said. "She's not scared, and I think a lot of this has to do with the success of the situation."

Peacock said his stepdaughter promptly declined the man's offer to give her a ride.

"He said, 'Can I follow you home to make sure you get home safe?' And she said, 'No, I'm meeting my mom halfway,'" Peacock said. "And he kicked into high gear and bolted and turned down the road."

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Peacock said his stepdaughter's school taught her how to handle such a situation and credited her training for her safe escape.

"She said that was the first thing that popped in her mind -- (she) made up a small lie that scared him. (She) spooked him enough. That got her to safety."

Police said they will increase patrols of the area surrounding the school for several days.