West Seattle on alert after student says man grabbed her on way to school

SEATTLE -- The search continues for a man who tried to grab a teenager at a West Seattle shopping center.

Since January, warnings have gone out on at least six different crimes targeting students in the West Seattle area, including flashings, possible luring attempts, and even a robbery.

In the most recent case, a 14-year-old girl said a stranger followed her around the Westwood Village shopping center at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Police said the girl reported that the man first asked her where he could buy a charger, but that after she told him, he continued to follow her and, at one point, wrapped both of arms around her.

The girl managed to get away and run to the Denny International Middle School nearby.

Just last month, another man tried to lure Heather O'Neill's daughter into his car while she walked to her bus stop on Trenton Street.

“It's terrifying, honestly, and the best thing that we could do for our daughter was arm her with a cell phone and we've talked to her since she was 3, to let her know if she`s uncomfortable, to yell,” said O’Neill.

In an email issued to parents Tuesday, Seattle Public Schools is now asking for volunteers for a ‘block watch’ to keep an eye on students who are walking to and from school.

The man in Tuesday morning's case is described as a black man in his 30s with an East African accent. He`s got a skinny build and has short curly hair and wears a goatee.  He was last seen wearing a black hoodie and sweat pants.

This is a different description from the man in the March incident, who was described as a Hispanic man with a skinny face with several scabs on it.