Clermont Elementary School lurker: Police meets with parents about suspicious man
Rachel Bouallegui, a Clermont Elementary School parent, had a heart-to-heart talk with her three kids on Thursday about who she calls the man in the red truck.
"They were terrified," she says. "I ended up sleeping with all three of my children last night because they were very frightened."
Bouallegui and her kids are not alone. The Clermont community remains on edge after the latest incident in which an unidentified man has lurked around the Alexandria school, calling out to and staring at students.
On Thursday night, about 175 parents, students and local residents turned out to the school's cafeteria to hear about what Fairfax County Police are doing about it.
"I just want them to feel safe playing in the neighborhood," Bouallegui says. "I want them to know what to do in case they are approached by someone."
Five separate incidents
Tuesday marked the latest time when the man, who drives a red pick-up truck and has been spotted wearing a white jacket and a Washington Nationals baseball cap, was spotted outside Clermont.
In each incident, the man is seen either staring at, motioning toward or calling out toward children.
"It is a little unsettling," Clermont parent Jim Norvell says. "You want your kids to be safe and having an individual drive around and not knowing what his intentions are...I hope (he's) identified.
"He's coming back"
Police say they can't be 100 percent sure that it has been the same guy every time, but on five occassions since Dec. 19, someone has driven around the neighborhood in the red truck.
Sometimes he just stares at kids. Other times, he has gotten out of the truck and waved to them.
"It's most scary that he has been coming back," Clermont parent Patty Asman says. "(It's good) knowing that the police are patrolling the area."
And they have. Fairfax County Police have stepped up patrols since the most recent incident, but county policeman Eddy Azcarate says there's one main problem.
"It's not illegal to stop and stare at kids," Azcarate says.
Regardless of that, though, parents want to know who this guy is and what he's up to.