P-O parents warned about man seen driving pickup near children

For the CDTOctober 21, 2013 

— Parents in the Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District got a pair of automated calls Monday afternoon with an important, but disturbing, warning.

The electronic voice advised parents to be on the lookout for a tall, slender man with grey hair and beard, driving a pickup truck, in the vicinity of children. The precaution was being taken in response to a “luring” incident. Other reports characterized it as an “attempted abduction.”

According to Superintendent Gregg Paladina, the calls were instituted in response to an incident that occurred at Osceola Mills Borough Park with the unidentified man in question. Staff at all schools and the drivers of P-O buses at Fullington and Long bus companies were also notified.

About an hour later, parents received a second call, advising them that because of the incident, state police at Woodland were stationing at a trooper at the school for dismissal.

Paladina said all moves were being taken out of an abundance of caution. He also said the One Call system the district usually uses to notify parents about early dismissals and weather problems was “worth its weight in gold” for its ability to reach families with potentially critical information.

This story was modified from its original version to correct the word “luring” and to change the location to Osceola Mills Borough Park.

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