Attempted abductions near RHS; Students say they're in danger

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The streets are used as hallways for some Riley High School students in what kids said is a dangerous neighborhood.

“I’m nervous about what might happen,” Starr Little said on Friday afternoon as she walked to Riley High School. The freshman said she makes this trip about eight times every day. “Yea, in the cold, the snow, whatever,” Little said, “I got to get to class.”

Little has classes at in two different buildings some are at Riley High School and others are at Riley Early College High School. The Early College classes are held at the old Studebaker School building on Dubail Street. It is less than a half mile from RHS, kids can make it there in about ten minutes but the trip feel much longer.

“I get very nervous,” Little said on Thursday a man in a SUV pulled alongside of her as she walked and followed her. Little said, “About the same speed I was, rolled down his window and was talking to me.”

The freshman said she walked to the other side of the street to get away from the man, but the driver, said to be a black man in his 40’s, flipped the SUV around and continued to talk to the 15-year-old.

Little said the man wanted her to get into his dark colored SUV, “My stomach got cold like when you get really freaked out and you don’t really know what to do.” Scared, Little pulled out her cell phone and the man sped off, “It’s just freaky.”

Several students said they’ve spotted this man in a dark blue or gray SUV which looks like a late 1990’s Suburban circling the school. Little said he targets girls who are walking alone and whoever it is, is still out there.



But Little is just one of the many students who have gotten into a scary situation on the walk between the two school buildings.


“Some bad people out there sometimes” Brian Gilleand a special needs student, at senior at Riley said he makes the trip twice a day and he’s run into trouble quite a few times. “I got jumped one time,” Gilleand said just last week he got beat up and robbed on his way to RHS to catch the bus.“They punched my glasses; broke my glasses and then they took some money out of my pocket,” Gilleand said he was not attacked by students but by guys on the street.  

On the walk passed abandon houses students the walk is not very far but they definitely go through a rough area.

Little said she went to the officer at RHS on Thursday and told him about the man in the SUV but a police report was not filed and the students and parents were not notified of the incident.

“I think they definitely should have said something, people need to know to only walk in groups or something,” Little said.

Spokesperson for the South Bend Community School Corporation, Sue Coney said RHS was not aware of any incidents or problems students have had traveling back and forth between the two buildings.

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