READER REPORT: Children followed

Shared by a father who wanted to alert others:

(Thursday) evening around 730 pm, my 12 yo daughter and 5 yo son walked from our home a couple blocks heading north to the water tower on 35th Ave near Our Lady of Guadelupe church.

They were testing the safety watch I just bought for my 5 yo son (Wednesday).

They were stalked by a man, 6 foot to 6 foot 6 inches, in 50s or 60s, thin build, gray straight shoulder length hair and a bald patch on the back of his head. He wore a blue gray tee shirt and blue jeans.

My daughter described seeing him arguing with someone across the street. He then noticed my children and walked past them heading opposite their direction of travel and on the opposite side of the street. My daughter’s instincts kicked in and she noticed once out of sight behind them he had turned around and crossed the street now following behind them.

He followed them when they crossed the street two separate times and changed pace to keep up with them. At the water tower play structure park, a neighbor noticed the man following my kids. She overheard my daughter tell her brother she was concerned about the man. Our neighbor stepped in to offer help. My daughter and son went straight home while (the neighbor) observed the man. He knew he was being watched, spit on the ground in her direction, making eye contact with her, and then left.

During this stalking he went so far as to follow my kids several blocks, keep pace with them, cross the street following them while my daughter attempted to ditch him, then tried to make himself appear as if he was taking photos on his phone at the park. This person is dangerous. The neighbor was thankfully in the right place to help and my daughter was savvy.

This incident is reported to Seattle Police as of the writing of this email. Please share this story to help protect our community and our children.

22 Replies to "READER REPORT: Children followed"

  • candrewb July 17, 2020 (11:10 am)

    6’6″… Shouldn’t be too hard to eventually locate him.

    • WS REZ July 17, 2020 (12:23 pm)

      6 foot TO 6’6″………. that’s a large range.

  • Sue L. July 17, 2020 (11:56 am)

    Thank you to the father who posted this. I have a 12 yo granddaughter and am grateful for the warning. 

  • Susan July 17, 2020 (11:57 am)

    Kudos to your daughter for doing all the right things…crossing the street several times, speeding up the walking pace, staying calm, heading for home.  I hope that she isn’t too unraveled about the experience. It was a valuable lesson in following your instinct when a situation feels off.  

  • john July 17, 2020 (12:33 pm)

    We noticed a SPD response to this as it happened coincidentally to a multi-vehicle SFD response for a medical emergency. We have windows on the scene, are familiar with the kids and wonder about any photos of the suspect, and any info of the person reported arguing with the suspect?  The description fits me, save for the shoulder length hair, and several other regular walkers.  Would appreciate more details?

  • anonyme July 17, 2020 (12:41 pm)

    Very smart girl, parents should be really proud of her.  So glad she and her brother are OK.  How long did it take for police to show?

  • Justin July 17, 2020 (12:42 pm)

    Yes, thank you for posting this, and I am glad your daughter was so alert! We live close by, and our sons often go the Myrtle Reservoir Park as well, so I’ll be sure to ask them to be cautious in the area, and we’ll be on the look out for this person. 

  • uncle loco July 17, 2020 (12:44 pm)

    Sounds like the stalker dude needs a stern talkin’ to by a social worker.

    • Wsguy123 July 17, 2020 (8:03 pm)

      I saw what you did there. Lol. Yes, not only do we need police, but we need them to be able to do their job and not have arrestees back on the street with little or no jail time. We also need enough police to handle all aspects of serving society. For example, when I have asked for help in the past, I was told patrol officers have been assigned to other duties. So between that and staffing levels discussed here previously, a lot of bad behavior is not getting the attention it needs in order to be a safe, civilized society.

      It was brought up here in the past that only 2-4 officers are available in WS. Maybe it’s better than it was but I kinda doubt it.

  • Elton July 17, 2020 (1:04 pm)

    Very smart little girl. Pretty brazen for this guy to be following young children on such a prominent street, hope he doesn’t succeed in the future.

  • MS July 17, 2020 (1:45 pm)

    Mom and dad u have done a great job with those kids of yours !!! They kept calm and kept there eyes on there surroundings GREAT JOB KIDS!!! thanks for the alert have a great weekend!!!!

  • sam-c July 17, 2020 (1:55 pm)

    That sounds really scary and dangerous. Thank goodness for the 12 year old’s intuition and the helpful neighbor. Hopefully the person is identified. I experienced something similar in college,  and still wonder, ‘what if’ to this day, even after 20+ years.

  • Brenda July 17, 2020 (2:00 pm)

    The description sounds similar to an incident I saw recently except without kids being followed.  I live in the same area.  I witnessed a man arguing with a woman in a car, slamming the car door, and leaving the car walking away briskly.  I can identify the man and the car.  I have seen the car in the area since then as well.  Two things caught my attention about the description above—1. The man was arguing– was this man arguing with a woman?2.  The description of the man is similar to the man I saw.  I recall him being closer to 6′ feet tall, maybe younger.  The man I saw had longer straighter hair but I recall it was a darker color not gray.  

    I am wondering if I saw the same person?

  • Melanie July 17, 2020 (2:03 pm)

    Echoing Susan – tell your for us daughter she did a great job of being alert and staying calm while managing her little brother! And good job to you for raising her!

  • West Seattle Lurker July 17, 2020 (2:13 pm)

    What ethnicity is the man? That’s the first thing they ask when you file a report. 

    • El jede July 17, 2020 (3:20 pm)

      Sure helps to have that info doesn’t it? And I call the cops every so often and it’s not the first thing they ask. As for the guy. Description fits the homeless man that my son and I rode past. He was passed out at the water tower. Never seen him before. 

  • Alki resident July 17, 2020 (2:46 pm)

    You have a very observant daughter. And parents, please teach your kids to get to the nearest house and knock and ring doorbell profusely and letting them know they’re being followed. Neighbors are very good around her at helping children. 

  • same person? July 17, 2020 (3:24 pm)

    I recently called spd regarding a man matching this description (maybe 6′?). He was aggressively yelling, at no one in particular, at alki one morning. This was about 1 month ago.  Most disturbing was that he was getting behind the wheel (4 door maroon, mitsubishi perhaps?) and appeared to be in crisis. An officer was close by and he was pulled over after about 1 or 2 blocks.  I was able to watch while they talked for a while and he eventually drove away. I wonder if it’s the same person? Maybe not.

  • M July 17, 2020 (8:04 pm)

    Sounds like another example of the necessity to fully fund SPD. 

    • Lispector July 17, 2020 (11:06 pm)

      No, it definitely isn’t. Situations like this are a shining example of exactly why we should defund the police, so they can be reallocated to doing actual police work instead of being expected to handle every other social situation. 

  • Vanessa July 18, 2020 (12:37 am)

    On Monday afternoon, my 8-year-old daughter, her neighbor friend (same age) and their 15-year-old babysitter were at E.C. Hughes Park and felt uncomfortable when a man sitting alone on a bench stared at them. He moved to another bench and continued staring. When the girls and babysitter moved further away, he got up and left in his car. He was in his 50s-60s. We would have reported it to SPD if the man was still at the park. I’m saddened to hear of this scary, creepy behavior in my local neighborhood.

  • BDR July 18, 2020 (1:14 pm)

    For those of you that think the police should be de-funded, I’m curious: How do you see a situation where a creepy adult male is following kids down the street for several blocks, crossing the street same as the kids, who are doing to see if the guy is actually following them? He is.Call a social worker to the scene? The social worker attempts to talk to the man. Let’s say in this instance, the anger (or whatever the issue is) gets escalated by being questioned or confronted about following children,  he starts yelling at the social worker.  It becomes obvious the social worker is not going to be able to de-escalate the situation. Then what happens?Honestly curious.

    To the parents of the girl and boy, excellent job at teaching your children to be alert! So sorry they were bothered by that man.

Sorry, comment time is over.