Third stranger danger? Another man follows, videos Roeland Park boy on way to school

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ROELAND PARK, Ks. -- Police are asking for the public's help to find the man who followed an 11-year-old boy to school Friday, taking pictures of the boy the entire time. The principal at Roesland Elementary School quickly notified police.

Police describe the man as young, white, wearing a black hoodie and driving small dark-colored car.

Shawnee Mission Schools confirmed to FOX 4 that they have had three "stranger danger" incidents this week. Two of those may be related.

Police say on Friday, the boy was riding his bicycle to school at about 7 a.m. when he noticed the man in a car following him. The boy says the man held a cellphone or some sort of electronic device that appeared to be taking pictures or recording video of the boy.

The boy told police the incident scared him because the man continued taking pictures and following for seven or eight blocks until the boy arrived at school.

"The big thing would be the distance that he followed him, and I guess from what the young child told us, the entire time he was recording him," said John DeMoss of the Roeland Park police. "That's just very suspicious to us, we want to be able to follow up on that."

The boy immediately told the school principal, but the suspect disappeared. Officers from both Roeland Park and Westwood looked for the suspect's car, but have yet to find it.

In addition to Friday morning's incident in Roeland  Park, a girl at Comanche Elementary reported earlier this week that a car followed her with an occupant repeatedly taking pictures of her.

The third report came from a boy who also goes to school at Comanche. Earlier this week he reported that a strange man tried to get him to come over to his car.

The Shawnee Mission school district says it's sending out an alert notifying parents about what happened.

If you know anything about this stranger danger incident, call the Roeland Park police at 913-677-3363 or the TIPS hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

The message below was sent Friday to families, from the principal of Roesland Elementary:

Dear Roesland Families,

I want to make you aware of an incident that occurred in our community.  This morning at approximately 7:30 a.m., a student riding a bicycle to school in area of 48th Street and Canterbury reported being followed by an unknown man who was taking pictures or video of the student with either a small camera or cell phone.  The unknown male is described as white, younger in age, wearing a hoodie, and driving a small black car.  No verbal or physical contact was made as the student continued on the way to school.  The student followed safety procedures and reported the incident immediately. The Roeland Park Police Department along with the school district’s director of safety and security have been notified, and officers are investigating.  Please take a moment to review safety practices with your child including a reminder to walk together with a partner or group whenever possible, to remain aware of surroundings, and to report any concerns to parents or school personnel immediately.  In order to keep you informed, I wanted to share this information even though we have few details at this time.  We appreciate your support, as well that of public safety partners for keeping our schools and community safe.


Mike Weiler




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