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UPDATE | Country Village Day School charges suspicious man with trespassing
Country Village Day School charged a suspicious man with trespassing after spotting him several times circling the playground and parking lot. It was the fourth incident involving the same man. While police couldn't release the suspect's name simply for trespassing, Commander Leslie Burns confirmed that he was not a registered sex offender.
“He walks in circles around the school and hangs around the parking lot near the playground when children are outside and appears to be watching the children,” reads the police report from Monday, August 11.
The suspect does not have any children at the daycare facility and when employees tried to contact him, he fled the scene.
“There's not much more we can monitor,” said Burns. “There's a lot we'd love to do, but we can't do. We'll keep an eye out for him, and be vigilant if we see him in or around a school.”
Police and employees identified his license plate and recognized him as an Island resident. Tepper described him as a 56-year-old white man, who was partially balding and often wore a baseball cap. He's 5'11 and has been seen driving a 2013 model of silver Chevrolet Malibu.
“As you can imagine, the staff and I are not comfortable with anyone that should not be on the campus...being on our campus,” wrote executive director Linda Tepper on August 12 on the facility's Facebook page. “Our number-one priority is the safety of our children, families and staff.”
When contacted by police, the suspect said he was visiting the North Mercer School (which has been closed for almost 30 years). He agreed that his behavior had been suspicious and said he would not visit again. The suspect had a criminal history of a DUI arrest and a incident of domestic violence in Alabama.
Under the filed letter of trespassing, the suspect isn't allowed to be on or near CVDS' campus for one year. Tepper also wrote that she would work with MIPD to make sure the trespassing order followed Country Village to its new location at 9423 S.E. 36th St.
Tepper said she had notified Little Acorn Day School and the Children's Institute of Learning Differences and that the school district and MIPD would continue to “survey [the] parking lot and campus as well as park unidentified school district vehicles in [the] parking lot at various times of the day.”
Commander Burns encouraged parents and concerned neighbors to call police if they saw any suspicious activity. Tepper said also, that she's been in constant contact with parents.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Country Village Day School had been on lockdown after the suspect was spotted on August 11. That information was based on the MIPD's police report but executive director Linda Tepper said there had been no lockdown.