Portsmouth students approached by suspicious man

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PORTSMOUTH — The Portsmouth School Department is asking parents to talk to their children about strangers after a man approached some students at an Island Park bus stop this morning.

According to a message the school district sent out today, several middle school students waiting for the school bus at the corner of Park and Mason avenues were approached by male who sought to engage them in conversation.

"This male was also seen at several bus stops on Park Avenue, including the one at Park and Morgan in Island Park," the message stated. "The students became uncomfortable with the individual’s presence. The incident was immediately reported to the bus monitor who then reported this information to the administration. Police were contacted promptly to be made aware of the incident and level of student concern. Police presence was requested in the area for the elementary bus pickups that were scheduled to occur shortly after the middle school bus run."

Interviews with students revealed the following details: The person was a caucausian male with short black hair wearing a turquoise-colored hoodie, dark (gray or black) sweatpaints, large purple animal print sunglasses  and light colored sandals. He was on foot.

The district encourages parents to tell their children to:

• never talk with strangers

• immediately report any suspicious incidents to the appropriate adults (police, school staff, bus monitors and parents)

• stay away from unknown vehicles

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