Neighbors Nervous About Playground Stranger

7:38 PM, Jun 17, 2013   |    comments
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MCLEAN, Va. (WUSA9) -- A scary thing happened at  the McLean Central park  last Friday.  The account has been sent to dozens of McLean and Arlington through neighborhood listserves. 

The author of the account has  been deleted, but senders request the receiver to send it on. 

The person writing the account says her nanny was with two children when they were followed by a strange-looking man.   There is a description of the man, but since he has not been accused or charged of a crime, WUSA9 has decided not to use the description. 

The writer says her nanny was watching two small children at the park when an older man was sitting at the park and watching the children for a long time. The nanny took the children into the woods to play when she realized the man who was watching them is now "running towards the girls - she looks at him and then he stops and continues walking toward the girls fast - she grabs the girls and manages to get out of the forest and into the library."

That account and more, about a man frightening children in Mclean has been making the rounds on local listserves. In the Friday incident, police were called.

Fairfax County Police Spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell says  police did respond and speak to the man in question.  She said officers determined no crime had occurred and no charges were filed.

Caldwell explained that staring at children, while worrisome, is not a crime. Neither is walking behind them.  She also said that the officers determined the individual was not on the Sex Offender Registry either. She encouraged anyone who is concerned about someone's behavior to call police.

Last week, a man fitting a similar description was seen in the same park and he was holding a back pack with what appeared to be a toy sticking out of it

On May 28th, near the Langley Pool, a man with the same description  scared two 13-year-old girls who were  walking over the I-495 bridge to swim team practice.  The listserve account says there two men in a car and that one of them "tried to lure two girls into their car." But police say that's not what their report shows. 

Caldwell says the report found that the the man in the car "smiled and waved" at the two girls.  Again, nothing illegal, but possibly frightening to the girls.  

A board member of the pool says that one of the girls thought she heard the man say, "Get in the car," but that the other girl didn't hear that.  

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