Oak Park teens report possible abduction attempts
OAK PARK — For the second time in two weeks, Oak Park police are investigating multiple attempts by strange adults to talk to or pick up juveniles walking in the village. A boy and a girl, both 13 years old, were approached in separate incidents Tuesday and Wednesday.
Neither child was harmed. Detective Commander Ladon Reynolds said both victims provided police with strong descriptions and other information. He said detectives are following up, seeking to identify two offenders.
The 13-year-old girl reported that a man tried to talk to her on two separate occasions this week. On Tuesday, the girl said, said she was walking south on the east side of Harlem Avenue, approaching Chicago Avenue at about 8 a.m. when an African-American man walked past her and “made a suggestive comment.”
The man is described as about 30 years old, six feet, two inches tall with a medium build, wearing a blue skullcap, blue work jacket and blue pants.
The girl reported seeing the same man following her the next morning at about the same time as she walked down Harlem near Paulina Street. This time the man, wearing a red jacket, but no cap and appearing to be bald, was in a white minivan, possibly a taxi.
The suspect motioned the girl towards the vehicle before driving past her on Paulina and turning south on Harlem.
Also Wednesday, a 13-year old boy told police he was walking west on Adams Street near Ridgeland Avenue when a woman driving a silver Dodge minivan stopped in traffic and offered him a ride. The victim declined and the suspect was last seen traveling north on Ridgeland near Madison Street. The suspect is described as an African-American woman, 40 to 45 years old, with straight black hair wearing a black sweater.
Oak Park Police Chief Rick C. Tanksley praised the two potential victims for ignoring the adults and walking away from them.
“Cases like this are traumatic to the victims,” Tanksley said. “The best defense is to do exactly what these teens did, walk away and then report it. That‘s why it is so important to teach our children how to be respond appropriately, including being able to provide a good description.”
The incidents come in the wake of Shawn M. Stubblefield, 28, of Maywood being charged with multiple felonies Dec. 14, after he allegedly grabbed three Oak Park girls on Dec, 11 and 12. Stubblefield, who is being held without bond, was also charged with multiple felonies, including kidnapping, related to the sexual assault of a Chicago girl in the Austin neighborhood on Dec. 10.
He has a Dec. 26 court date at the Criminal Courts building at 26th and California in Chicago.