AKRON, Ohio – Parents of four children at an Akron elementary school got quite a scare after their children accepted cookies from a man through the fence on the playground.
So far, none of the children from Voris Community Learning Center who ate the cookies have become ill. However, school officials and parents are questioning what the man’s motivations were.
“We’ve told him since he was three years old ‘Don’t talk to strangers, don’t take anything from strangers’,” said Annette Citraro, whose five-year-old son was one of the children who ate the cookies.
Voris Principal Maryanna Johnson said a man, who did not speak English very well, came up to the back fence just as children were coming out for recess.
“He had dark hair, a dark jacket, a mustache,” Johnson said.
The man handed four children cookies through a hole in the chain link fence. Three of the children, a kindergartener and two first graders, ate the cookies.
“One did not and she told the others they shouldn’t,” Johnson said.
The man got into a white vehicle and drove off.
Citraro was horrified when she learned her son accepted a cookie from a stranger.
“Took him down to the emergency room, had him completely checked out to make sure there was no poisoning that was involved,” Citraro said.
Her son is fine, she said.
It appears the cookies were just regular cookies. So, why did the man do it? Is he just a nice guy? Or did he have other motives?
“Our main concern now is if this was a possible luring to try to abduct children,” Citraro said.
The school sent a letter home to parents about the incident, and is beefing-up playground security, Johnson said.
“I’ll be going out there first all week, for the next couple weeks, to scan the playground; then I’ll stay out there and see how things go as we talk about ways to improve the security,” Johnson said.
If you have any information as to who the man is you are urged to contact Akron Police at (330) 375-2552.