This morning, while walking to school at Bookcliff Middle School, a student called 911 after he was approached by a male in a vehicle. The suspect, who the student was familiar with from previous interactions, offered the student candy and encouraged him to get in his car. The student was alarmed by the interaction with the male, and immediately ran away and called 911. Officers with the GJPD, who were already in the area working the school zone, responded immediately and contacted the student. They were also able to make contact with the suspect within minutes of the incident occurring. The male, identified as Lane Leppin, age 58, has subsequently been arrested and remanded to the Mesa County Jail for second degree attempted kidnapping.
The student in this incident student did exactly what we want kids to do when they feel uncomfortable or frightened by a stranger; run away, find an adult, call 911. This particular student said that he had talked to his parents about what to do in a situation like this, and he was able to act immediately. Parents, please be sure you’re talking to your kids about personal safety so they can feel empowered to act if they are afraid.