Man arrested in Cleveland Heights for stalking students walking home from school

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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — A Highland Heights man is in jail for allegedly stalking young girls outside a local school and police say it was the girl’s parents who followed the man’s car that aided in his arrest.

Cleveland Heights Police were called April 12 after several young female students noticed a man following them as they walked home from the Communion of Saints School.

“We got a call from a parent that their child had observed a vehicle circling the area with a male in it.  According to the student, this isn’t the first time she saw him.  She had seen him the prior week circling the area during the time she walked home from school,” said Chief Annette Mecklenburg.

Police reports said the girls stated the man would show up around dismissal and cruise the streets, slowing to follow them.

Word about the incidents spread quickly and parents communicated.

“We were in the area of dismissal from school on April 17th when we got a call that someone saw the vehicle in the area and alerted us immediately,” said Mecklenburg.

But apparently, some concerned parents decided to do more.  Police reports said they followed his car, coordinated his location with dispatch and helped corner the vehicle until police could make him stop.

Inside the vehicle was 59-year-old David Bilko of Highland Heights.

Police said Bilko has a history of this behavior, dating back to 2013.

“These were calls very similar in nature. He was acting suspicious in his vehicle. He was seen exposing himself, also seen masturbating. He’s been charged in other incidents,” said Mecklenburg.

Police are applauding the young victims and their parents for taking action.

“The girls for speaking up, the parents for making their kids comfortable enough to come to them when they see something suspicious. We always say see something, say something. In this case, the parents contacted police and the parents were very instrumental in locating him,” said Mecklenburg.

Bilko is currently behind bars and faces three counts of menacing by stalking.

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