Dad warning others after daughter reports stranger exposed himself near playground

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police are investigating after a little girl in the Northland claimed a stranger approached her near a playground, exposed himself, and asked her to touch him.

Police said it happened last Friday afternoon near NE 94th Street at an apartment complex called North Oak Crossing Apartments.

The girl’s father described their complex as family-friendly, with several school bus stops and lots of children – which is a big reason why he wants to warn other families to keep a close watch on their kids.

“She means the world to me, of course,” the dad exclusively told FOX 4. “I couldn’t even fathom what would happen if she would’ve disappeared or if something would’ve physically happened to her.”

He said he noticed immediately something was wrong when his eight-year-old daughter ran home from their apartment complex’s nearby playground.

“She looked a little shaken,” he recalled.

The little girl told police a stranger approached her in a complex breezeway, unzipped his pants to expose himself, and then asked her to touch him.

The father ran outside to find the stranger, but never saw him. Another resident, however, did; and had actually called police less than 10 minutes earlier to report the same suspicious person staring at kids on the playground.

“It just really concerned me as far as how quickly things can change,” the father said, “real quick, in a matter of minutes.”

The girl wasn't hurt, and her dad is thankful she knew how to respond to stranger danger.

“She could’ve easily been picked up,” he said. “I mean if a car was out on the street, he could’ve easily came around the corner, picked her up and just took off.”

He told FOX 4 he is still concerned the apartment complex never notified other residents about what happened.

“Really concerned,” he said, “for one thing, is the person still around the area?”

The complex's manager acknowledged the incident, but told FOX 4 she had no comment.

As for this dad, he's speaking out in hopes he protects other children in his neighborhood, “All I can do is try to be as cautious and careful as I can, as far as protecting my daughter,” he said.

Police are still working to track down a suspect in this case. They described him as a thin white man with brown hair and a scruffy face, between the ages of 40-45, who was wearing jeans, a black leather jacket and a gray baseball cap the day the incident happened.

If you've seen him, call CrimeStoppers at (816) 474-TIPS.