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Armed man follows Gwinnett high school student home from school

A suspicious man allegedly following a Dacula High School student home last week spooked the girl enough for her to alert police.

The white 24-year-old Buford man was stopped and interviewed by Gwinnett County Police on Dec. 3, who later issued him a seat belt citation and warning. The girl, 16, told police that the man followed her in a 1991 red GMC Sonoma from where she and other students park at Dacula Park, according to a police incident report.

Suspicious of the man, the girl told police she became nervous after he followed her out of the parking lot, so she pulled into a Publix parking lot at Fence Road and Auburn Road. She waited a few minutes in the parking lot, then resumed her trip home when she told police the man began following her, and cut off several cars to get behind her again, she told police.

When she arrived home, the girl said the man drove in front of her house and turned around in the cul-de-sac before she called her mother as the truck slowly pulled away.

When police arrived at the girl’s house, they noticed the man’s truck, which accelerated in the subdivision after an officer scurried to a patrol car.

After police pulled the man over, he denied following the girl, and the responding officer noted a “moderate” smell of alcohol on his breath.

The officer later found a handgun and a fully loaded 9 millimeter magazine. The officer also found Natural Light beer that was cold and inside a plastic holder in a black book bag, and five of the six cans were missing.

The man told police that he was in the girl’s neighborhood to visit a friend’s house, and was only in Dacula Park to look up the friend’s address.

The officer wrote in the report that “the totality of the circumstances was concerning to me due to his drinking, carrying a gun, watching a young girl in a park, and then stalking her home. (The man) said it did seem suspicious, but that he was just looking for a friend’s house.”

Police also performed a voluntary field sobriety test on the man, which yielded a positive result, but below the legal limit.