CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif.- - It's a nightmare for every child or parent.
Elizabeth Limon, a 9-year-old student, says she was walking to Rio Vista Elementary School Monday morning in Cathedral City when a man tried to lure her into his van. Limon said the man told her that her mother had sent him to take her to school.
"He said he was a friend of my mom's but once I said, 'No thank you,' he went and said, 'Are you sure?' and once I started walking a little bit faster I could hear him, and he grabbed me, somewhere near here like right here," Limon said.
After he grabbed her, Gloria using a rock to fight back.
"It was kind of sharp, I threw it at his knee and I could see that his knee was kind of bleeding a lot," Limon said.
"Her father has informed her before to grab a rock or a stick or something," Gloria Calderon, Limon's mother.
Limon said she ran away and made it to school, telling her teacher, who then notified the principal and her mom. The Palm Springs Unified School District sent out a notice to parents.
Police are searching for the man. He is described as white and in his 20s or 30s, with dark hair and possibly bleached highlights. He is believed to weigh about 200 pounds and was wearing a brown vest and blue jeans. Limon said she remembers the man had a large scar or stitches on his face.
Limon would walk to school because she lived about one block from their home, however, her mother says that's going to change.
"Of course my kids won't be walking to school no more...at all," Limon said.
Limon's mother is grateful her daughter had the judgement and strength to get out of the situation. She says they've had many prior conversations about stranger danger.
"She's a very strong and brave little girl," Calderon said.
Calderon encourages families to talk about the various phrases a child predator might use.
"You know 'Look at this puppy,' 'Do you want candy,' or 'We know your mom' or 'Will you come with us'," Calderon said.
Anyone with information about this man or the incident is urged to contact the Cathedral City Police Department
More: I-Team investigations
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