Fulton police are investigating a report of an attempted kidnapping near McIntire Elementary School.
The three McIntire students involved were uninjured and reached home safely, according to a statement released Wednesday by Fulton Public Schools.
The students were walking home after dismissal Tuesday. Just north of the school, one noticed a man looking at them, according to the statement.
The students reported the man said, "I'm going to kidnap you."
The students ran home, the statement noted.
The suspect is described as a middle-aged white man with a brown beard and possibly brown eyes. He was driving a black car with four doors.
Maj. Roger Rice said Fulton police were notified about 9 a.m. by McIntire Elementary officials after a relative of children told them about the incident.
Although police are investigating, Rice said they don't have much information.
"We did put a car up there this afternoon and checked for white males in black sedans, but nothing matched," he said.
He said they'll have squad vehicles near McIntire and other schools Thursday.
FPS spokesperson Karen Snethen confirmed school officials learned of the incident early Wednesday and immediately contacted police.
She said the district has rigorous policies in place to keep children safe. Crossing guards near schools and regular police patrols around release time help ensure walking children reach home safely.
"We are always diligent," she said.
Snethen encouraged parents to talk to their children about the incident and make sure they know what to do if a similar situation happens to them.
"If you have children that walk home the buddy system works," Rice said. "(The students) did exactly what they've been told to do when they feel threatened, which is to run to a safe place."
In a separate incident Tuesday, a girl in Jefferson City also avoided a kidnapping attempt, Capt. Doug Shoemaker of the Jefferson City Police Department said.
At around 8 a.m., the victim reported, she was riding her bike to West Elementary School when a man attempted to pull her off her bike into a vehicle. The victim escaped and biked to school.
Jefferson City police said they're looking for a white man in his mid-30s, with scruffy, brown hair and crooked teeth. His vehicle is a red, four-door pickup truck with step rails and a chrome brush guard.
"We don't have any evidence to connect the incidents," Rice said.
Anyone with potentially related information can contact the Fulton Police Department at 573-592-3100.