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Decatur Police issue ‘suspicious person’ warning


Decatur Police issue ‘suspicious person’ warning

Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Police have issued a “cautionary” suspicious person warning after a nine-year-old girl told her parents she was followed home by a man riding a bike.

The incident happened on Oct. 17 at around 9 pm. Police received a call from a parent on Madison Avenue.

“The complainant reported his nine-year-old daughter was traveling home from school on her bike at approximately 3:20 pm and noticed an older black male, with a bike, standing on the sidewalk in the area of East Lake Drive and 2nd Avenue,” Decatur Police Sgt. Jennifer Ross said. “She rode past the male and he then proceeded to ride his bike and travel in the same direction, taking the same three turns as she traveled home.  When she turned into her driveway, the male continued on down the street and did not attempt to make contact with her.  She informed her parents of the incident later that night.”

The report provided no other details about the suspect.

Ross said the incident “could have been a simple coincidence” or something more serious.

“It can be hard to talk to children about safety and what to do in certain situations when we want to prepare them without scaring them,” Ross said. “It is important for parents to have regular, open dialogue about safety issues so that the information is reinforced and the topic is not taboo and scary.”

Ross recommended parents visit the following websites:

http://safelyeverafter.com/ index.html

http://www.kidpower.org/ library/article/safe-without- scared/

http://www.ncpc.org/topics/ violent-crime-and-personal- safety/strangers