Police identify man accused of lurking near Mariemont children, schools

CINCINNATI -- Mariemont officers identified a suspicious person Wednesday they say has been driving around and approaching children near Mariemont Elementary School.

“We have spoken to this individual and confirmed that he is no longer in the area and resides in another state,” the police department wrote in an alert released to the community.

Officers said they can’t prosecute the suspect, who was described as a white man in his late 30s with several tattoos on his arms, because his actions are not severe enough. Authorities would not release his name.

“After speaking with the Hamilton County Prosecutors Office, it is determined that with the information provided none of the actions rise to the level of criminal prosecution,” authorities said.

On Jan. 24, police said a man in his 30s or 40s with tattoos on his arms approached a young girl walking in the 6800 block of Wooster Pike. Officers said the man was driving a green sports utility vehicle and asked the girl if she was walking alone.

The girl ran away and made it home. But Mariemont Police Chief Richard Hines said the girl’s mother did not report the incident until Feb. 7, which hurt their chances of catching the suspect.

"The problem was, the information we were given was two to three weeks old,” Hines said.

Hines said he worries Mariemont residents might not think such a heinous act might happen in their neighborhood because of how safe their communities are.

“People are just thinking, ‘We are in Mariemont. It's not going to happen,’" Hines said. “But that's not always the case.”

The village of Fairfax also received reports of a man with a similar description lurking near children.

In their message to the community Wednesday, Mariemont police said they would like residents to continue reporting any suspicious activity by calling 911 as soon as possible.

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