MEDINA COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – Police in Medina County are warning parents about a man passing through neighborhoods in his car and acting suspiciously around children.
The suspect’s car, described as a black Dodge Challenger with a silver gas cap and damage to the driver side back bumper, has been on the radar of law-enforcement agencies for the past six months because of the unusual behavior of the man behind the wheel.
At various times, witnesses have reported that the prowler in the black Challenger had no shirt on, and was attempting to take photos of children as he passed through their neighborhoods.
“We know some friends on State Road that a few months back, it happened to their daughter so it’s not something that just happened. This has been going on,” said Marsha Hecker.
It turns out police have actually identified the suspect in the Challenger and have questioned him several times, but he denied any wrongdoing and was let go because he had not committed an obvious crime in front of police or witnesses.
However, of major concern to law enforcement in Medina County, the suspect has a pending criminal case, in which he is accused of exposing himself at a grocery store.
On Monday night, witnesses reported seeing the black Challenger slowly driving through a neighborhood in Granger Township, where Marsha Hecker’s grandchildren live.
Fear about the man’s possible motives are prompting some families to come up with a plan of action for their children.
“We already forewarned them earlier today that if by chance they’re in the neighborhood and they’re aware of the car, that they are to go to the nearest home, knock on the door and ask for help,” said Hecker.
Police are asking parents to be vigilant, record any unusual activity involving the black Challenger and to call 911.
Diane Stancak, who lives on the street in Granger Township where the suspect was spotted on Monday, told FOX 8, “Listen to your kids because they’ll tell you that somebody’s coming for them or looking at them. They’ll tell you.”