Racine police investigate possible case of child enticement

RACINE (WITI) -- Racine police are investigating a possible case of child enticement that happened at Roosevelt Elementary School on Wednesday morning, December 11th.

Officials say a 10-year-old girl who was walking to school after 7 a.m. reported the suspect pulled up and parked next to her as she was walking near Yout and LaSalle Streets. The suspect began to exit his vehicle and asked the girl if she wanted a ride. The victim stated that she screamed “stranger” and took off running. She looked back and saw the suspect re-enter his van and flee north bound on LaSalle St.

The victim later ran into a friend and the friend’s father while running. She walked the rest of the way to school with the father and friend.

The suspect was described as a middle-aged white male with medium length gray hair. He was average in height and weight, wearing a black knit cap and a multicolored sweater with a reindeer pattern. The suspect had no facial hair but had a thin scratch or scar on his face.

Sergeant Jessie Metoyer from the Racine Police Department says the van described by the girl was two-toned, possibly purple.

"Maybe painted over from a previous business or something and also that it was a larger conversion sized van with windows covered in blankets," said Metoyer.

But Metoyer says even with the red flags, given the frigid temperatures and snow on the ground, it's possible the man's intentions were good. Nonetheless, Metoyer says he exercised poor judgment.

"That could be the situation but we certainly, are alarm bells go off on something like this happens, it's not normal for a middle-aged man to stop an offer a ride to a small child," said Metoyer.

The Racine Police Department would like to speak with anyone who may have witnessed this incident or observed the vehicle in the area, including the father that walked the victim to school. That's because investigators believe the father got a good look at the van in question.

If you have any information you are urged to contact the Racine Police Department Investigations Unit immediately at 262-635-7756. You may also contact Crimestoppers at 262-636-9330, or by texting RACS plus the message to CRIMES (274637) and referring to Tipsoft I.D. #TIP417 with your text message.