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On Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at approximately 8:40 a.m., Park Forest Police were dispatched to Forest Trail Middle School after receiving a call that a 13-year-old female student was approached while walking to school in the 300 block of Windsor Street by a man she did not know. The man was standing approximately 10 feet behind the girl and displayed a knife in one hand while motioning with his other hand for her to come toward him. The student ran away and went to Forest Trail Middle School where she alerted school staff. The student was never touched by the offender and the offender never spoke to her.
The offender is described as an African-American male with a dark complexion, standing approximately 5’8” with a medium build. The man was wearing a dark colored ski mask over his face, dark sunglasses, a gray zip-up hoodie, blue sweatpants that appeared to be dirty and white gym shoes.
This is the fourth incident in the past month where a male subject of a similar description was reported to have approached a teen-aged girl walking alone. In one incident the victim was robbed at knife point, in two incidents the victims were groped by the offender, and in this most recent incident the victim was threatened with a knife. Three of the incidents occurred within close vicinity to the Winnebago Park area and one near Sangamon Street and Shabbona Drive. While police cannot conclusively link all incidents, a similar offender description and the nature of the incidents at this time leads police to believe that the same offender is likely involved. A composite sketch of the suspect has been posted throughout the community.
The Park Forest Police Investigations Unit continues to investigate these incidents, and extra patrol units have been deployed. The Police Department continues to also implore the public to call 911 if you witness a crime or suspicious circumstances, and to call the Investigations Unit at 708-748-1309 if you believe you know who the offender may be. Public involvement assisted in the recent arrest of a naked man battering a woman near Shabbona Park, and while that offender was ruled out in these incidents, police are confident that someone in the community may know something that can assist in this investigation.