Teens’ Info Leads To Arrest Of Man Who Followed Them

BARRINGTON, Ill. (STMW) – Quick thinking by two northwest suburban students who were approached and spoken to by a stranger last week led to the man’s arrest days later.

At about 3:15 p.m. Friday, two 13-year-old students were approached by a man in a dark-colored sedan as they walked home from the school bus on Prospect Avenue near Waverly Road in Barrington, according to Barrington police.

The man, whom they did not know, asked them, “How far are you walking?” and “Do you need a ride home?” The students answered no, but one of them entered the vehicle’s license plate number in her cell phone, while the other memorized the car’s description and plate, and gave it to police. Both told their parents about the incident as soon as they got home.

Rodney T. Peterson, 33, of the 500 block of West Miner St. in Arlington Heights was arrested Monday and charged with disorderly conduct, a release from police said. He is scheduled to appear in court March 19 in Rolling Meadows.

The northwest suburban area has experienced several such incidents in recent months, but two incidents in Barrington (March 2 and Jan. 10) appear unrelated to each other and to those in other communities, police said.

Police credit the teens in the latest incident with memorizing the details of the driver, vehicle and license plate, which led to a quick arrest, the release said.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Careepay

    What is it with guys named Peterson……?

    • McGruff, the crime dog


  • Rodney T. Peterson

    At approximately 7:10 pm two Barrington police officers confronted me, Rodney Peterson, at my residence (one female officer, badge number 311, the other male who was her superior or to quote him directly “her boss”) I did not get either of their names. They asked me to please step out of my residence that they needed to speak with me. They asked my wife to excuse herself back into the house and then proceeded to question my whereabouts on Friday march 2nd. Once established that I was in Barrington and that I went to the local shell gas station they asked if I had offered two females a ride, to which I answered that I had.
    I had been in the area that day because I bought lunch for the staff of my former employer. I was with that employer for the past seven years, six of which were in Barrington. The weather if you can recall on Friday march 2nd was a slushy mix of ice and rain. I had stopped at the Circle K gas station just down the street from my former employer to get gas as I still had errands to run, it was at the gas station, while I was waiting for my gas purchase to conclude, that I saw the two females leaving the gas station in the bad weather. I saw them for a whole of three seconds, just long enough to conclude that they had no umbrellas or anything and being a Christian God put it on my heart to offer them a ride because of the bad weather. They walked out of visual sight, I finished pumping my gas and then drove up to a residential street where I saw them again, I thought to myself if they did want a ride I would have to move one of my two children’s car seats that were in the back seat to make room, I slowed my vehicle to a stop, rolled down my passenger side window and asked them “do you have a long way to go?” I believe the response of one of them was “we’re okay” as she waved me to go on in which I replied “okay” rolled up my window and continued on my way. I immediately drove back to rte 59 (Hough st) and proceeded to the local Barrington post office where I sent a parcel to the IRS via certified mail. At the post office I had to wait a few minutes before making my purchase there as there was another customer who was being helped at the time. From the post office I continued my errands and went to the local jewel to stop at TCF bank to request statements on a closed account and deposit my rent check to my landlords account, TCF could not comply with my requests for statements and suggested I try calling their customer service department. While I waited on hold with TCF I made two purchases from jewel. I then proceeded to a local business near wool st., of whom I had business dealings in the past six years to drop off media from previous work done. I then went to Woodfield mall where I paid two bills for my wife and bought a pack of socks for myself. I came home and my son and I packed for our weekend trip of snowboarding in Wisconsin with my father in-law and brother in-laws my son and I were going to learn to snowboard and we both did much better than we thought we would. I was gone most of Saturday and most of Sunday, my wife used my car while I was gone since her car was low on gas.
    The officers explained that at least one of these girls were 14yrs old and how the whole situation had put me in a bad light and that I was the subject of investigation. They explained that the girls, their parents and a local school were very concerned because of this situation. The officers asked me why I offered them a ride and I explained as above. The officers thanked me for explaining the situation and being honest about whether I was the person who had asked. The officers asked if anyone had called me who told me that they had been investigating me, to which I replied no. They immediately both accused me of lying to them about someone calling me and proceeded to ask me again in several different ways the same question. The officers then asked me where my car was, I explained that my wife and I took it to Midas that morning Monday march 5th as it had $1,200 in repairs, the officers then explained that they thought that I was attempting to hide my car to which I replied that we could go to the local Midas or I could get that estimated bill that I had got on Feb 29th or show them the unused coupons I had on my refrigerator where I cut out the coupon I had used today, as I was keeping the rest to get my wife’s car repaired this week. I even showed them the to-do list on my phone. Then the officers explained that they had no choice but to issue me at ticket, I asked what would happen if I refused to accept (because I was disturbed and frustrated that these events were even happening) to which they replied that I cloud accept the ticket or I could turn around, be cuffed and arrested and would have to pay to post bail. They explained that the ticket was a better option and that I could go back in to my family and have dinner with them, they then said I would have to appear in court before a judge. I did not wish to sign the ticket as the female officer had said I could refuse to sign the ticket but It would have to be issued. I asked what would happen if I did not sign the ticket since I disagreed with how the situation had been perceived and that the female officer had said I could refuse to do so, the male officer at that point told me “I’m her boss and I say you have to sign the ticket.” I signed reluctantly and unwillingly accepted the ticket after they reiterated themselves in that they could just arrest me. They then after a few attempts and phone calls(due to the officers vacations and that I was representing Jesus by performing as Jesus in a dramatization of the Lord’s last Passover feast and carrying the cross on the way to the crucifixion at a local church for a pastor friend of mine of which I will have two days of rehearsal) agreed on a scheduled court date. After I received the ticket for Disorderly Conduct I asked what I should do since I am innocent in the matter, was there anything that I could do… The officer almost mockingly replied that so long as I had a clear concise with my maker that I would be fine. I explained the entire situation to my pregnant wife, my 10yr old son, my 7yr old and 4yr old daughters. I am very frustrated that in attempting to do something good for someone I am now accused of something very dark, evil and sinister, I do however understand the concerns of the parents and school as I would do the same if I thought my children were at risk, also I applaud the two girls for their quick thinking, I unfortunately failed to see the trouble my good intention would cause, my sincere apologies to the two teenage girls, their parents and the local school involved, you however can rest assured that this was a huge misunderstanding and that the girls were at absolutely no risk whatsoever.
    As it was originally God who gave me the idea and the heart to even care, I know he has allowed all of this for a reason and I know that in some way he will be glorified, it must be that someone involved needed to hear about the genuine love of God how his one and only son died for the entire world and how that just as sin has separated all mankind from God, Jesus by his shed blood has separated sin from those sinners who would call on him for forgiveness and believe that he is the Christ our King.

    • Wayne

      Never talk to the police! The police are not your friend. Make sure your lawyer reads the law you are accused of breaking. Do not take a plea! Once your case is dismissed, sue the hell out of the officers individually and the department and city. Keep only enough money to cover all legal expenses and donate the rest to your church.

    • TrueToForm

      No surprise here, overzealous barrington police making problems for people instead of serving and protecting.

  • TheTruthAboutBarrington

    I have hear that the detective unit at the barring cop shop is very underpar. I have heard of them creating more problems than they actually resolve…

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live