PD: 'Suspicious person' follows teen, rides school bus in Phoenix

PHOENIX - Police are searching for a "suspicious person" who followed a teen onto a school bus Thursday morning in Phoenix and rode to school with the students.

Officer James Holmes with Phoenix police said the man had approached the same 14-year-old boy Wednesday after he was dropped off at his apartment complex on Georgia Avenue, near Interstate 17 and Camelback Road.

He asked the teen if he wanted a cigarette or "a fix," Holmes said.

The teen told the man to leave him alone, and the boy went into his home, said Holmes.

Around 7:30 a.m. Thursday, the teen reportedly saw his school bus pull up and left his home to board the bus.

The same suspicious man then followed the teen onto the bus and took a seat at the back of the vehicle, Holmes said.

According to Holmes, an adult bus assistant, who was also sitting at the back of the bus, asked the man if he was with the child, and the suspicious man said he was.

The bus driver, the adult bus assistant, three children, and the suspicious man were on the bus during the drive.

Once the bus arrived at Simpson School on 23rd Avenue, just south of Missouri Avenue, the man asked the bus assistant where the nearest church was located.

He then left the area, Holmes said.

That's when one of the children on board, a 13-year-old, found a fully loaded 9mm magazine (15 rounds) on the seat where the man had been sitting, Holmes said.

The teen turned the property over to the bus assistant.

The school bus employees contacted their supervisor who then called the school, Holmes said.

Phoenix police were called to the area, but the man was not located.

The Phoenix Police Department is asking anyone with information about this suspicious person to call 602-262-6151 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.

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