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.