Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Police investigation: Stranger danger threat? Not this time

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 10/3/2012

A man thought to have approached two children Tuesday on the playground at Eugene Field Elementary School turned out to be not as sinister as some feared, police said Wednesday.

School officials reported to the Ottawa Police Department that an unknown man driving a silver or bronze truck motioned for two children to approach him toward the end of the school day late Tuesday afternoon. The children then proceeded away from the man toward the school, according to a letter issued to parents Wednesday by Shannon Fanning, principal of Eugene Field Elementary, 720 Tremont Ave., Ottawa.

A man thought to have approached two children Tuesday on the playground at Eugene Field Elementary School turned out to be not as sinister as some feared, police said Wednesday.

School officials reported to the Ottawa Police Department that an unknown man driving a silver or bronze truck motioned for two children to approach him toward the end of the school day late Tuesday afternoon. The children then proceeded away from the man toward the school, according to a letter issued to parents Wednesday by Shannon Fanning, principal of Eugene Field Elementary, 720 Tremont Ave., Ottawa.

“We have reported this incident to the authorities, but wanted to make sure that you were informed of it as well,” Fanning wrote in her letter to parents. “We will continue to provide the safest environment for your child possible, and we hold safety as a priority.”

Police were able to locate the individual, Capt. Adam Weingartner, with the Ottawa Police Department, said Wednesday.

“Officers made contact with him and determined that he was parked at the school waiting to pick up family members [after school],” Weingartner said.

The unidentified man told police the children had stared at him through the fence for a period of time, and when he asked if he could help them, the boys turned and ran away, Weingartner said.

Officers were able to determine the man had made no attempt to approach the youths, Weingartner said.

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