Extra patrols planned today after reports of man exposing self to children
Police are searching for a suspicious man who was spotted near bus stops on the west side of Indianapolis at least twice in the past week.
A 13-year-old girl acted quickly and scared the man off by grabbing her cell phone after being warned about the man at Lynhurst Elementary.
"You girls be safe. I'm going to drive around a little bit," said an IMPD officer to a group of children playing near Washington St. and Holt Rd. Monday afternoon.
There are extra patrols in the area because of what happened at two school bus stops the last two Monday mornings.
"He pulled up and stopped. He went very slow and looked at me through his window. Went around the block two times," said the 13-year-old student, who attends the 7th and 8th grade center at Lynhurst.
"All day at work, I just thanked God that she acted the way she acted and thought the way she thought," the girl's mother said.
She was grateful her daughter grabbed her cell phone. That may have made the man drive away. Police have looked for the man for a week after another incident at a bus stop a mile away.
West of Lynhurst and Washington, the same car, with a similar suspect inside, exposed himself to another 13-year-old girl who attends the same school.
"He didn't tell me anything. He just looked at me, up and down," Monday's victim said.
She says she was scared. So was her mother.
"I just went into shock," she said. "Actually, I was like, this can't be happening."
But her daughter was thinking and reacting. She knew about last week's incident, because the school sent a warning home.
The teen saw the last four characters of the temporary Indiana license plate on the silver car. Last Monday's victim saw the whole number: WOJ485.
"So I was, like, 'Oh my God.' Some things are becoming too common," said another parent, who lives just steps from the bus stop.
"People ought to watch their kids a little closer," said another father. "This guy needs to be caught, man, it's terrible. It's disgusting someone can do something like that to a child."
He has his daughter wait on the porch until the bus gets close.
"Because it could happen to anybody," his teenage daughter said. "It could happen to me, too."
"We want to make sure parents can be with their students at the bus stop or students can be with each other. There's safety in numbers," said Mary McDermott Lang with Wayne Township Schools.
Another mother, Phyllis Felix, said, "Flashing little kids is just ridiculous. But it could lead to something worse. I hope they catch him."
The victim's mother agrees.
"You wake up one day and you think you're going to go home and see your kids. What if they're not there? What if they don't come home?" she said.