Stranger Danger: Suspicious Man Reported Near Lapham Elementary

Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2013 --- 11:00 a.m.

Incident Report from the Madison Police Department:

Incident Type: Suspicious Person

Incident Date: 01/18/2013 - 1:25 PM

Address: 1045 Dayton St. (Lapham Elementary School playground)

Suspect(s): Suspicious person is described as being a male, white, 5'9" to 6', thin build, short white wavy or curly hair, facial stubble, wearing a baggy, brown or gray hooded sweatshirt, light blue jeans, and dirty white tennis shoes.

Details: There will be increased police patrols near Lapham Elementary School, 1045 E. Dayton St. after a suspicious man made contact with 3 students on the playground during afternoon recess last Friday.

The students, all 2nd grade girls, were standing near a chain link fence that encloses school property when a stranger began talking to them from the other side of the fence. The girls told teachers he was acting "strangely" and made a statement similar to: "My mom's in heaven. She's dead." He then smiled and held his hands out to the students. He did not touch them, and moments later, he ran in the direction of the school's parking lot.

The school's principal has sent a letter home to parents alerting them to the situation. In the correspondence, the principal indicates a review of protective behaviors will take place at the school, and that there will be increased supervision when students are outside.

The letter also asks parents to go over safety reminders with their children:

•Never respond to strangers when you are alone.

•Stay with friends.

•Report suspicious incidents to a trusting adult.

•Don’t accept gifts/food/candy from people they don’t know.

•Never go with anyone without first obtaining parent permission and always tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back.

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