Arlington County police are investigating an incident involving two teen girls and a man who tried to lure them into his car in a 7-Eleven parking lot.
The incident happened Saturday afternoon, outside the convenience store at 5747 Lee Highway.
“At approximately 2:46 p.m. on September 19, police were dispatched to the report of suspicious circumstances,” Arlington County Police said in a crime report today. “Upon arrival, it was determined that the female juvenile victims were exiting a business when the male subject pulled up next to them in his vehicle and attempted to engage them in conversation. They declined and began to run away.”
“The subject yelled to the victims again to come back to his car, at which point a witness came to the aid of the victims and contacted police,” the crime report continues. “The subject fled in the vehicle prior to police arrival.”
On Nextdoor, a Leeway Overlee resident who identified himself as a parent of one of the 13-year-old victims further described what happened, calling it an “attempted abduction.”
“Our daughter and one of her friends walked up to 7-Eleven next to Sloppy Mama’s BBQ yesterday, they walked past a small white car when the driver yelled out ‘I will buy you Slurpees if you get in,'” he wrote. “They ignored, bought their goods and left, again walking by the car, he opened the door and yelled at them to get in, they ignored and proceeded towards Lee/Lexington intersection, the man drove out of the lot to that intersection and again yelled once again.”
According to the poster, the witness who intervened was the manager of the nearby District Taco restaurant. The company’s founder and CEO confirmed to ARLnow today that the restaurant’s general manager was on her break and jumped into action upon seeing what was happening.
“Lashelle Mason was there at the right spot and time,” said Osiris Hoil. “Thank God.”
Hoil, who lives in the neighborhood and has three children, added that he’s being more cautious after the incident.
Also quick to intervene, according to the Nextdoor post, was Joe Neuman, founder of Sloppy Mama’s, who provided security camera footage to police.
“We immediately went to our cameras and helped Arlington PD as best we could,” Neuman confirmed. “We had the incident on our cameras but the car had [a] license plate cover on it so we were unable to get a plate.”
“The investigation is ongoing,” ACPD said in today’s crime report.