Child-luring incident reported near Brooks Middle School

Man tried to coax girl into car


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A female Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School student told police this morning that she was approached on the 400 block of Clinton Avenue by an adult male who tried to coax her into his car around 8:45 a.m.

Oak Park School District 97 sent a notice to teachers and parents warning about the incident.

The seventh-grade student told her parents a 40-ish man in a grey/silver colored car asked her if she wanted a ride to school and tried to wave her over.

Oak Park police issued a description of the offender as a white, male, age 35-45, with brown and gray hair and a brown and gray goatee. The man was said to have a Hispanic accent and be driving a light gray four-door Honda or Toyota.

Chris Jasculca, D97 spokesman, said Oak Park police are investigating and will be increasing their patrols around the area of the school.

Safety tips from District 97

Incidents like this remind us all about the safety precautions children should take when they are walking around Oak Park, whether it is to/from school or on the weekends. Below are safety guidelines that have been compiled for our students with the assistance of the police department.

• Always try to walk in groups or with at least one other person.

• Walk on sidewalks and other open areas rather than alleys that have less visibility.

• Be aware of your surroundings and any strangers who are nearby.

• If you have a concern about another person near you, go to a neighbor's house, find an adult to assist you, or go back to school.

• Never approach a vehicle unknown to you even if the occupant speaks to you.

• Yell loudly and run if you feel you are in danger.

• Be sure to tell your parents if something happens. Parents should contact the police and the school.

"Please take a few minutes to review and discuss these safety rules with your children." wrote Jasculca in a statement. "Thank you for your time, attention and support on this important issue."


This article was updated to include a police description of the suspect. 

Reader Comments

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OP duder  

Posted: November 7th, 2013 12:18 PM

Camera rarely deter crime, but they're still a good idea. As one police officer noted, cameras would not stop crime, but placing them on major arteries in the village would help a lot in apprehending criminals by capturing their vehicles on tape. Problem is, the village does not want cameras, as 1) It gives the impression we have a crime problem (which they don't want to acknowledge), and 2) They rather spend our money on beautification and business projects. Our safety is NOT their concern.


Posted: November 7th, 2013 10:09 AM

Why not have a series of cameras at intersections around the village? With them concentrated on various school areas, this would deter some of the events. Some could be dummy cameras which could also deter other crime. The criminals have the coverage of being able to exit without notice. Now, they'd be unsure of this.

OP Dude  

Posted: November 7th, 2013 12:09 AM

I'm glad that none of the recent cases turned into actual abductions (thanks for quick thinking smart children), but it is highly disturbing that these attempts have been relatively frequent. It's easy for the village to brush it off as "this can happen anywhere", but that would ignore trends. So basically Oak Park now has another regular addition to the burglaries, thefts, robberies and assaults.


Posted: November 6th, 2013 8:24 PM

It seems that there have been quite a few of these attempts made in OP in the last few years. Why? Are we thought of as being an easy mark? Fortunately none of the attempts has been successful.

muriel schnierow from Oak Park illinois 60302  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 8:24 PM

Pedophiles are psychopathic and cannot be paroled. they are incurable. the instructions are good but we need a Task Force on Violent Crime with a sub study of psychopathy .the judisciary and parole boards have to understand proiper sentencing and proper release and in the case of psychopaths no release.

Brooks Parent from Oak Park  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 6:36 PM

@Parent from Oak Park. I did receive an email from D97 @ 1:20 pm regarding the incident.

A. Parent from Oak Park  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 6:12 PM

As a parent of a district 97 student, why am I only learning about this now? No notice sent home by the school today, no electronic notice from District 97.

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