Man tries to lure middle school runner into truck

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PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A community is on high alert after a man tried to lure a middle school runner into his truck.

It happened Monday evening on Forrest Road in Hurricane.

Jimmy Cunningham, a track and cross country coach for Hurricane Middle School and a founder of the Teays Valley running group, says a man in a red, four-door Ford pickup truck drove alongside a 7th grader and tried to lure him into the truck.

"It was just very suspicious because he picked the one individual that was by themselves because he literally had groups in front of him and behind him but he was the one that was by himself and it just really frightened the person because he said the guy was scary looking, creepy, acting very strange, not laughing or joking at all," Cunningham told WSAZ.

The boy told police the man appeared to be middle-aged, had dark hair and was wearing orange sunglasses.

Cunningham shared pictures the boy snapped of the truck on social media. The post has garnered attention and comments from others saying they recognize the truck and have seen the man engaging in inappropriate behavior.

The group is limiting runs to Hurricane High School for a few days and an officer is going to discuss additional safety tips with the group.

"Well you could imagine, I was very shocked at first because this has never happened before, but also very angry because I treat these kids as my own when I have them out here so I want them to be safe and I want them to feel safe," Cunningham said.

Putnam County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the incident.

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