By Ken MacLeod

LOWELL (CBS) – Three children say they were approached by a man who pretended to be a police officer and grabbed two of them. The kids were just getting off the bus in Lowell when he came up to them and wanted them to come with him. That’s when their older cousin came to the rescue.

The school bus had just stopped and a 13-year-old girl was waiting to escort her two young cousins home when they had the scary encounter that police are still trying to sort out.

Lowell detectives were still scouring the neighborhood Tuesday night for surveillance video that might ID the man.

A girl says she was grabbed by a man at a school bus stop in Lowell (WBZ-TV)

“He grabbed me and he looked down at one of my cousins and said ‘should I take you or her,’” the girl said. “And then that’s when I pulled away from him.”

The young brothers were just off the bus when they first spotted the guy.

“He was not joking, I know that for a fact,” one of the boys said.

Police suggest the man might have been drunk and say his intent is still not clear.

“And he was like ‘I’m a cop, I’m a cop do you want to go to jail?’” the girl said.


When the man backed off, the kids made a beeline for their homes a couple of blocks away. Their parents immediately called the police.

The kids describe the suspect as white, with a salt and pepper goatee and wearing a brown leather jacket and a dark knit cap which is why they weren’t buying his cop claim.

“That was weird, cops don’t grab kids like that,” the girl said.

The 13-year-old still remembers the man’s final creepy words as he walked away.

“And he just told me to behave,” she said.

Police have pulled surveillance video from at least two businesses along the man’s exit route including an auto repair shop.

Ken MacLeod