A woman in Potacello, Idaho spotted an “older white man” taking pictures of “children” at a park, so she ran up to him and screamed at him until he left, and then called the police, who duly issued an alert asking the public for information about this mysterious stranger. The local press picked it up.
Then the man called the police himself. He was in the park with his grandson, and he was taking pictures of his grandson. He didn’t run away from the woman, he left because she was freaking him out with her wild, unfounded accusations that he must be up to no good because he was a) an adult, b) in a park, c) with a camera. For some reason, the police found this to be suspicious, too — despite the fact that statistically the most likely abuser in a child’s life is a relative or close acquaintance, not a stranger. Who needs evidence-based policing when you’ve got unfounded terror, though?
Pocatello Police are warning people of a suspicious man spotted taking pictures of children at Ammon Park.
Police say parents spotted the man photographing their kids, and when they confronted him the man ran off. He is described as an older white man with white hair and a beard. He was wearing a western-style button-down shirt and blue jeans and was driving a tan/brown van. If anyone has information about this man, police would like them to call police dispatch at 234-6100.
Lt. Paul Manning said the man in question called in the Pocatello Police Department himself, saying he was at the park taking pictures of his grandson. The man also said that he did not run away, but simply walked away from a woman who had gotten very close to him and was yelling at him. Manning said police are no longer worried about the man and he is not suspicious.