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Police Arrest Man Who Offered Students Ride Home

Barrington police arrested Rodney T. Petersen Monday, March 5.

Barrington police nabbed a suspect who stopped and offered two 13-year-olds a ride home. 

The students were walking home from school on March 2 at 3:15 p.m. when a stranger stopped in the street and asked them how far they were walking and if they needed a ride home. The incident took place on Prospect Avenue near Waverly Road. The students told the man they didn’t need a ride, and took down the license plate number as he drove away.

The students both reported the incident to their parents when they got home.

Police arrested Rodney T. Petersen, 33 of Arlington Heights and charged him with disorderly conduct. His court date is March 19.  Barrington police attribute his arrest to the student’s remembering his license plate number.

Barrington police remind residents not to focus on the description of the stranger or their vehicle to protect themselves. Instead, police say concentrate on the message of not accepting rides and going near strangers that stop or ask you for help.

Stranger Rules From the Barrington Police Department:

  • Don’t get into a conversation with strangers who try to talk to you on the way home.
  • If the stranger continues trying to talk to you or stops the vehicle, run home or run to the nearest public place and immediately tell an adult what has happened.
  • Never walk up to a car of a stranger and never walk off with a stranger.
  • Try to walk with a friend or group of fellow students, whether it is home, to and from school or to the bus stop.
  • If you have a cell phone, call 911 immediately.
  • Try to remember as much as you can about the stranger and vehicle. 
Rodney T. Peterson March 09, 2012 at 12:29 AM
I was in the area because I bought lunch for the staff of my former employer. The weather on Friday march 2nd was a slushy mix of ice and rain. I stopped at the gas station, I saw the two females just long enough to conclude that they had no umbrellas or anything and being a Christian God put it on my heart to offer them a ride because of the bad weather. They walked out of sight, I finished pumping my gas and then drove up to a residential street where I saw them again, I stopped and asked them "do you have a long way to go?" one of them "we're okay" she waved me to go on and I continued on my way. I immediately proceeded to the local Barrington post office.
Rodney T. Peterson March 09, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Officers came to my residence explained that they had no choice but to issue me at ticket, I asked what if I refused to accept (because I was disturbed and frustrated that these events were even happening) to which they replied that I could turn around, be cuffed and arrested and would have to pay to post bail. I explained the entire situation to my pregnant wife, my 10yr old son, my 7yr old and 4yr old daughters. I am very frustrated that in attempting to do something good for someone I am now accused of something very dark, evil and sinister, I do however understand the concerns of the parents and school as I would do the same if I thought my children were at risk, also I applaud the two girls for their quick thinking, I unfortunately failed to see the trouble my good intention would cause, my sincere apologies to the two teenage girls, their parents and the local school involved, you however can rest assured that this was a huge misunderstanding and that the girls were at absolutely no risk whatsoever. It was originally God who gave me the idea and the heart to even care, he has allowed all of this for a reason and I know that in some way he will be glorified, it must be that someone involved needed to hear about the genuine love of God how his one and only son died for the entire world and how that just as sin has separated all mankind from God, Jesus by his shed blood has separated sin from those who would call on him for forgiveness and believe that he is the Christ.
Rodney T. Peterson March 09, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Sorry, as these comments were condensed, for the full story please veiw my posts on other sights.
Wayne Crawford March 19, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Never talk to the police! The police are not your friend. Make sure your lawyer reads the law you are accused of breaking. Do not take a plea! Once your case is dismissed, sue the hell out of the officers individually and the department and city. Keep only enough money to cover all legal expenses and donate the rest to your church.
G March 19, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Liar, liar.

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