ZION, Ill. (STMW) — A north suburban Zion man was arrested this week for allegedly touching himself in front of a female student after asking her for directions while she walked to school, the Lake County News-Sun is reporting.
Salvador Mateos-Suarez, 29, of the 2100 block of Gilead Avenue in Zion, was taken into custody and charged with felony sexual exploitation of a child after an incident Wednesday near West Elementary School, police said. The sixth-grade girl then ran to her school, at 2412 Jethro Ave., to tell a teacher what she saw, according to police.
Mateos-Suarez also is thought to have driven up to other elementary school girls last week while they were walking to Zion schools, police said. In those incidents, police said girls were also asked for directions.
According to police, the girl from Wednesday’s incident gave a description of the suspect, who was wearing a bright orange shirt and driving a small white car with a black stripe on it.
The girl reportedly told police he approached her as she walked to school, asked for directions and then rolled his window down so she could see that he was masturbating. After running to her school, a teacher called police at 9 a.m., Zion Police Chief Stephen Dumyahn said.
“West Elementary School staff contacted the police immediately and assisted in gathering information which led to the quick apprehension of Mateos-Suarez. The school staff’s response was text-book work,” he said.
Dumyahn said police were called to the school last week after school officials were told about a man in a small white car who had approached students. There was no sexual misconduct reported in those incidents.
According to police, an investigation led to Mateos-Suarez’s home where he was wearing a bright orange shirt and was standing next to a car that met the description. The student also identified him in a line-up, police said.
The charge was classified as a felony because he allegedly committed the act within 500 feet of a school or park. He is being held on $50,000 bond in the Lake County jail.
Deputy Police Chief Kirk Henderson said Mateos-Suarez was not on any sex offender registration lists.
“But if he’s found guilty he will have to be,” Henderson said.
“They can get bolder, so it’s good he was apprehended now,” he added.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)