4th Report Of Suspicious Man Near Sioux Falls School
by Tom Hanson, Anchor
March 07, 2012 9:45 PM
Sioux Falls police are investigating a 4th report of a man trying to entice kids into his vehicle in the past two weeks. This time kids at Horace Mann Elementary say they were approached.
The playground at Horace Mann Elementary was full of running, and jumping and playing on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, about 6 blocks from the school, that happy go lucky mood was replaced with apprehension for 3 boys ages 9, 8 and 6 who were walking home
The encounter took place at 21st Street and Van Epps near some railroad tracks. The three boys say a man stopped his vehicle, got out and motioned for them to come to him.
However, they did the right thing, they took off running.
The boys told their parents, who called police. According to police spokesman Sam Clemens, officers are trying to determine if this encounter is related to the others.
"It’s similar to those for Discovery and the first at Lowell Elementary, the description was a 50 year old man with gray hair and a beard, the only difference being here is there's no beard," said Clemens.
For parents like Jeremy Washburn, who has two kids at Horace Mann and another in middle school, the reports are to say the least, unsettling.
“It makes me angry, I wouldn’t want that happening to my kids. I'm glad they're safe,” said Washburn.
Clemens says this is a good reminder for parents to talk with their kids about what to do if a stranger approaches them.
“We've had instances in the past where kids have reported that people have approached them and tried to entice them into cars and really it hasn't turned out to be anything. We haven't had any kids disappear. And Sioux Falls is safe and we would like to keep it that way, that's why we are taking these reports seriously,” said Clemens.
One thing police are noting is the vehicle description is different from any of the other cases. The boys from Horace Mann say they saw a white SUV. In the other reports the suspicious man was driving either a white or dark colored car. The man is described as 50 to 60 years old with short gray hair. He's 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall with no facial hair.