Park Forest Police Warn Parents Against Letting Kids Walk Alone, After Attacks
(CBS) — Four attacks on women and girls in a month. Park Forest police believe one man may be responsible.
Now, police there are warning kids not to walk to school alone.
In fact, two of these attacks took place very close to a school. Parents are not only telling kids not to walk to school alone, but many aren’t letting them walk at all.
The most recent attack came Wednesday, near Forest Trail Middle School. A man held a knife, motioning for a 13-year-old girl to come toward him. The girl ran to the school instead.
“I’m scared to walk home every day,” Forest Trail student Destiny Johnson said.
Now, her aunt won’t let her.
“He’s chasing the little girls, and it’s just crazy, so it’s best for us to just pick her up and take her,” Valerie Johnson says.
Police have released an artist’s sketch of the man they believe is behind the attacks.
The first attack happened in Winnebago Park back on March 18. Around 6 p.m., a high school girl was robbed and groped at knifepoint.
Two days later, a girl was confronted by a man at the intersection of Westgate Street and Westwood Drive, just in back of Forest Trails School.
That same day, just 40 minutes later, a 39-year-old woman was grabbed near Shabonna Park by a near-naked man.
“Based on description and the nature of the event, it leads us to believe it’s likely the same person,” Park Forest Deputy Police Chief Christopher Mannino says. “Until we make an arrest, we won’t know that for sure.”
The concern is so great, parents like Beatrix Davis are worried about their sons, as well.