Police in Anne Arundel County are offering tips to parents after a man was spotted approaching children playing at a park.
Police were told that an elderly male between the ages of 60 and 80 years old and wearing a long sleeve red and black plaid shirt, approached several children at an Edgewater park.
One parent noticed a child who appeared to be following the man toward the parking lot but was able to “retrieve” the child, according to police.
Witnesses said that the man liked to be walking with a quad-based metal cane and was “hunched over.”
While police say the intentions of the man are unclear, they are using the opportunity to highlight the following safety tips from the National Crime Prevention Council.
Things parents can do:
- Know where your children are at all times.
- Point out safe places and safe spaces for your children to play.
- Teach children to trust their instincts—if they feel scared or uncomfortable, they should get away as fast as they can.
- Teach your children to be assertive, and make sure they know it’s OK to say no to an adult.
- Encourage your children to play with others and to remember safety in numbers.
Things children should do:
- Don’t talk or take anything from strangers.
- Don’t go anywhere with someone you don’t know.
- Use the buddy system—avoid walking alone.
- Go to a trusted adult when seeking help, like a teacher, coach, police officer, parent or older sibling.
- If a stranger grabs you, do whatever you can to stop him or her from pulling you away. Attract attention from others who can help you. Scream “this is not my dad,” or “this is not my mom.”