One simple question stops attempted kidnapping at Panorama Middle School in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - One simple question may have saved a girl from a kidnapper on Tuesday.

A 12-year-old girl told police she was walking in the parking lot of Panorama Middle School at 3:45 p.m. when a stranger drove up and stopped her.

"He just pulls up and he's like, 'Hey, your mom told me to come pick you up,'" said 7th grader Nicole Hill. "I was like, 'What's my mom's name?' And he gave me a look and he just scooched off."

The driver sped off, but not before Nicole got a good look at him.

She described the driver as a white man in his late 20s to early 30s, with short, dirty-blonde hair and green eyes, wearing clear Oakley-type glasses.

"He was in his Army uniform and he had the 'four corners' patch with a flag and he had just a regular hat on, not a beret, a hat," said Nicole. "He reeked of cigarettes, his car did," said Nicole.

Nicole's mom, Andrea Landi, told 7NEWS she taught her daughter about strangers, but never told her to use such a smart question.

"At first I thought, 'Oh, that's a really good idea,' but then I was thinking what if he actually did know me and said, 'Andrea.' Then what? Would she have gotten in the car?" said Landi.

"No way," said Nicole.

"She knows you're not allowed to get in the car with anybody or talk with strangers or leave with anyone or pet their puppies, nothing," said Landi.

Nicole also described the car as a black, newer-model Chevrolet sedan with California license plates. However, she did not get the license plate number.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Colorado Springs Police Department at 719-444-7000.

If you need help starting a conversation with your child about safety, check out the Take25 website:  It lists ways to start the conversation by age group.

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