Evanston Police charged a 32-year-old Evanston man with disorderly conduct Monday, alleging that he chased and swore at a 10-year-old girl as she was walking to her bus stop last week.
Police say Randall T. Mercer, of the 700 block of Grey Avenue, approached the King Lab student as she was walking from her home to her bus stop near Washington Street and Brown Avenue at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, according to police. As he chased after her and screamed profanities at her, the little girl ran toward her bus stop. Mercer then ran away, police said.
The girl identified Mercer as the man who chased her, according to police. He is scheduled to appear at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 30, in Room 104 at the Cook County Circuit Court in Skokie.
District 65 released the following tips for parents after the incident last week:
Safe walk routes are posted on the D65 website www.district65.net. We also recommend that you remind your child to:
• whenever possible, walk with a friend or trusted adult
• stay alert to surroundings when walking
• use the safe walk routes and avoid using alleys or shortcuts
• obey all traffic signals, crossing guards and school patrol members.
If approached by a stranger, a child should:
• shout “NO” loudly and continually if the stranger tries to lead the child away
• stay at arm’s length when a stranger approaches
• not speak to the stranger
• as soon as possible, tell a trusted adult what happened.
Other ways to help a child stay safe include having a family code word that only you and your child share. This way the child can feel secure in knowing who they can talk to or take a ride from.