Deputies investigating suspicious man at Sublimity Elementary School

Deputies investigating suspicious man at Sublimity Elementary School
A vehicle similar to the one that the suspect was driving.

SUBLIMITY, Ore. -- Sheriff's deputies are investigating an unidentified man who was trying to coerce children into his car at Sublimity Elementary School on Thursday morning.

Marion County sheriff's deputies responded to the school in Sublimity just before noon. School officials said the man, who was driving a dark green 1990s Toyota Camry, approached several school-aged children who were playing in the school's playground.

The man apparently tried to coax the children to his car by showing them a soccer ball and asking if it belonged to them, according to a news release from the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

A nearby teaching assistant, believing the situation appeared suspicious, approached the car and the man sped off.

The suspect is described as having salt-and-pepper-colored hair with a beard. He was wearing glasses and a baseball hat.

The school's principal notified the parents of the children involved and also sent a notice to all parents of the school, alerting them to the situation.

Deputies said the school will boost security and give children additional instructions on safety precautions.

If you have information about this case, please call Deputy Bangs at 503-932-3244.