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WHITING — A man driving a tan van approached a 15-year-old girl Thursday as she walked home from school, got out and grabbed her buttocks, police said.

The girl told police she was walking in an alley in the 1900 block of Clark Street in Whiting when she heard a vehicle approaching from behind.

The vehicle stopped, and the man got out and asked her for directions, according to a police report.

The girl told the man she didn't understand what he was asking and continued walking. She then heard running footsteps behind her and felt someone grab her buttocks.

The girl turned and swung her arm, and saw the same man. The man backed off, and the girl turned and ran home, police said.

The man was described as white, in his mid 30s and heavy set with a fade haircut, no facial hair and a black jacket. The van was tan and "beat up."

Anyone with information is asked to call 219-659-2131. Follow the prompts to speak with the detective bureau.


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Public safety reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.