One courageous Riverhead High School student was able to save herself from a possible abduction Wednesday morning.
According to Riverhead Superintendent Nancy Carney, the girl was walking to school when a man in a black sedan started making conversation with her.
"He said, 'Hi, how are you doing?'" she said. "He started to chat with her and then he said, 'Why don't you get in and I'll give you a ride?'"
The student, Carney said, handled herself perfectly. "She said 'no' numerous times and started walking quickly away from him."
After the girl got away from him, Carney said she notices that he pulled into the parking lot of Bagel Lovers on Osborn Avenue in Riverhead.
At the same time, a sheriff happened to be coming out of the eatery, and the student told him what had happened. Once in school, she went straight to administrators, who called the Riverhead Police department.
Riverhead police confirmed on Wednesday that a call was received by at 7:53 a.m. about a "suspicious person" at Pulaski Street and Osborn Avenue; high school principal David Wicks placed the call.
Police said the incident is under investigation.
Carney said according to the student, the man was described as being "between 25 and 35, hispanic, and driving a black sedan, not a big car."
Once the student reported the incident to school officials, "We notified all of our security, school principals, and parents, through ConnectEd," Carney said.
School authorities are urging parents to remind their children not to talk to strangers and not to get into any unknown cars or vehicles.
Carney said due to the girl's quick thinking, what could have been a tragedy had a happy ending. "She was wonderful. I really commend her," Carney said. "She did all the right things. She came and told the administration right away so we could make sure the kids are alert."
Some young people, Carney added, might not have thought to notify officials immediately; the student took all the proper steps. The student, she added, "although shaken, is perfectly fine." Carney spoke with the girl's mother earlier on Wednesday.
"The good thing about when something like this happens is that everyone becomes more cautious," Carney said. "We're doing everything we can to make sure people know what happened and, hopefully, the police will find out who it is."