INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 7, 2015) - Neighbors are shocked to hear an Indiana Public Schools student was robbed at gunpoint Wednesday morning while waiting for the school bus at 11th Street and Tibbs Avenue.
“It is not safe. I’m not going to let my kids go out there,” said concerned parent Crystle Cooke.
The incident happened on a relatively busy street in a west side neighborhood. Police say the 13-year-old boy was standing at the corner with his backpack, waiting for an IPS school bus to pick him up. Before the bus arrived, officers say two men pulled up in a car.
One jumped out and held the boy at gunpoint, then took off with his backpack and other belongings, leaving him alone and afraid of what was going to happen next.
“You think that the school would post that and let us know that this happened. So we could be out there with our kids,” said Cooke.
While students stand outside in the early morning hours, often times alone waiting for the bus. Police say criminals see them as easy targets, especially if they could be carrying an iPad or laptop to be used in the classroom.
"Be mindful of vehicle traffic and stay in a well lit area. If you have a phone on you, be ready to call the police. Additionally don’t carry large amounts of valuable things like computers or cell phones," says Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Officer Chris Wilburn.
“My son has an iPad, a kindle reader, all of it. Now, a lot of schools are using more technology so you have to have them,” said Cooke.
The school also made accommodations to pick up an drop the victim off at his home. But, other parents still have to worry about their child getting to and from school safely.
“I will probably drive my kids, it is probably a lot safer. I mean I sit outside with them, but anything can happen,” said Cooke.
Indianapolis Public Schools released the following safety tips after the incident happened:
- Walk with young children to the bus stop and wait with them until the bus arrives.
- Have your children travel to the stop with a friend if they are able to.
- If it is dark stay near well-lit areas.
- Children should be aware of their surroundings, where are they, who is near them?
- If someone approaches children in a threatening manner they should seek help or run to a neighborhood home for help. Make lots of noise while running.
- Children should not accept rides from anyone without their parent’s permission.
- Intuition is a powerful tool. If you sense something is not right, trust that feeling.
- Avoid horseplay at the bus stop.
- Stand at least three giant steps back from the curb as the bus approaches and board the bus one at a time.
- Children should wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting on and never walk behind the bus.