Colorado Springs police have a warning for parents. They say a man is approaching teens again and offering them money to watch him perform a sex act.
This is now the fourth time it's happened in two weeks. All incidents have been near schools.
Police say the man drove up to a teen on Meadowland and Pearl, not far from Russell Middle School in District 11, around 3 p.m. Tuesday. Investigators say the man acted as though he was lost and asked her for help. Police say when she refused, he asked her if she wanted to “make some money” and offered $100 to watch him masturbate. The teenage girl ran away.
Less than 10 minutes later and less than a mile away, he approached another teenage girl on Pearl and Park Vista. He once again acted like he was lost and asked the same question, but when the girl tried to walk away, police say the suspect started pleading with her and offered her $200. The victim was able to get away.
The suspect is described as a white male in his 30s, with brown hair. He was reportedly wearing a military-style camouflage, long-sleeved shirt or jacket. During the first incident, police say it was reported that he was wearing a camouflage hat. In the second, not hat was reported, but police were told he was wearing chrome sunglasses.
Two weeks ago, there were two other very similar incidents near Doherty High School. Police say a man drove up to a girl in the area of Austin Bluffs and Academy, and offered her money to watch him masturbate. A few minutes later, he approached two other girls near Austin Bluffs and Dublin. Police say all the victims got away.
Investigators are not 100 percent sure it's the same man, but they are telling 11 News that it is the same MO. They are very concerned, and they want parents to be sure to talk with their children.
Kidpower, a nonprofit that teaches children about stranger awareness, offers some helpful tips. They say walking to and from school is a vulnerable time for students. Make sure kids have an escape plan if they find themselves in a situation like this. It's always best to run and scream for help.
Springs police say this case is being investigated as solicitation of child prostitution, a felony in the state of Colorado.
Anyone with information on this suspect's identity or whereabouts are encouraged to call the CSPD at 444-7000 or call Crime Stoppers and remain anonymous at 634-STOP.
Previous Coverage 4/29/14:
A Colorado Springs school district is warning parents after three girls were offered money by a stranger to watch him perform a sex act.
It happened twice on Monday, just a few miles apart. Police believe the suspect is the same in both incidents.
Just before 4 p.m. Monday, the suspect drove up to a Doherty High School student and offered her $100 if she would watch him masturbate. The girl refused and was able to get away. Police say she was in the area of Academy and Austin Bluffs when the man approached her.
About an hour later, police say the same thing happened again, this time in the area of Dublin and Austin Bluffs, where two girls were approached. The suspect description is the same.
In both instances, police say the girls were under the age of 15.
The suspect is described as a white man between 20 and 30 years old with reddish-blond hair. He was wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses. He was driving a red pickup truck with temporary plates.
Police are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP.
Police confirm the addresses of the two incidents are Austin Bluffs and Academy (first incident) and Dublin and Austin Bluffs (second incident). Those addresses vary slightly from the ones listed in a letter from District 11 to parents.
The letter, as posted on their Facebook page Tuesday, is below:
NOTE: Police tell 11 News neither incident was near the Shotz Lazer Tag.
Good Afternoon Parents/Guardians,
Police have informed us that on April 28, 2014, there were two reports of a student being approached by a stranger. A white male between 20 and 30 years old, wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap, driving a red, four door pick-up truck with temporary tags, propositioned a Doherty High School student near Shotz Lazer Tag and Billiards at 4474 Austin Bluffs Parkway; another similar incident happened near the Village Inn at 4275 N. Academy Blvd.
The safety of our students is our top priority, and in light of this, we have spoken to the students about the dangers of being approached by a stranger. As parents and guardians, we ask that you also be vigilant about our school surroundings and talk with your students about how to handle these situations. Students have been reminded to be aware of their surroundings, don't talk to strangers, and report any suspicious activity immediately to an adult or staff. I understand as a parent the need to know important things that occur at the school. I can assure you that we followed protocol for reporting this situation, and we have taken necessary action to heighten awareness in the interest of student safety.
I encourage all parents to join us in delivering the message to our students to not talk to strangers, be aware of their surroundings at all times, and to notify an adult immediately of suspicious activity. Together we can keep our students safe from the dangers that our world unfortunately presents us with at times. I appreciate your attention to this matter and thank you in advance for having this conversation with your student.