CINCINNATI -- Hyde Park parents were on edge Thursday night after police said they were investigating several reported cases of a man attempting to lure children into his van.
"There’s no sicker thing in this world than preying on children, and it makes my stomach turn," said Andrea Ehrhorn, whose eight-year-old daughter attends Hyde Park School.
Principal Tianay Amat of Hyde Park School sent an email to parents last Friday with a warning about the suspect, who has been described as a thin white man with curly blond hair. He has been driving a white minivan.
This man drove up to a young Hyde Park Student student while she was walking home from school last week, her father said; he approached her under the pretense of asking for directions.
He then circled around, opened the driver’s side door and asked the girl if she wanted to watch him perform a sex act. According to her father, the man was only wearing grey underwear while he drove the vehicle.
Amat’s email said there have been numerous reports of the same man approaching children in nearby neighborhoods; the school has reached out to area police to increase patrols in response. In the meantime, Amat encouraged children to walk in groups and to stay alert while they traveled to and from school.
For parents in the area, news of the incidents has understandably been a source of anxiety.
“I worry for other children," said Andrea Klocke, who has two school-age children. “My kids, I try not to let out of my sight, but I know lots of kids that walk home from school by themselves."
If you think you may have information about the suspect in these incidents, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.