West Mifflin police suspect stalking reports could be linked
By Patrick Cloonan
Published: Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 5:01 a.m.
West Mifflin police suspect there is a connection between other recent child stalking reports and an incident on Thursday morning near Homeville Elementary School.
“A suspicious individual attempted to make inappropriate contact with a child,” West Mifflin Area School District Superintendent Daniel Castagna wrote in a letter posted on a district Facebook page and sent home to parents and guardians.
That's despite disparities in descriptions of the alleged perpetrators.
“It just seems to be extremely strange that there have been four of these in the area that don't appear to be at all the same but are vaguely close,” West Mifflin police Chief Ken Davies said.
He referred to Munhall and Clairton cases and a second West Mifflin matter, though details of that incident were not available at presstime.
Castagna's letter described the latest West Mifflin incident on Thursday along Everlawn Street and Glencairn Road, one block from the Homeville school.
“The individual is described as a balding white male with a red beard, driving a white car,” Castagna wrote.
Davies said suspects were described as black, white, balding, with red and white hair and ages ranging from 35 to 60.
The man who allegedly tried to lure a child along Main and Farragut streets in Munhall on Wednesday night was described as 60 years of age. The borough's Munhall Crime Watch Facebook page said that man was of medium build with gray hair, wearing a baseball hat.
In Clairton, a 14-year-old girl with autism told police she was stalked by a white male wearing black clothing who was driving a green car. Clairton police Chief Rob Hoffman said his officers responded to that incident then turned the investigation over to Allegheny County police.
Castagna did not return calls seeking comment at presstime. The matter also wasn't discussed at Thursday's meeting of the West Mifflin Area school board.
“The kids so far are doing exactly what they need to do,” Davies said. “They are staying away from these people, going and getting help.”
West Mifflin police are making their presence known at schools in that borough, both in the morning and when classes are dismissed.
“We have tried to increase our patrols,” Davies said.
“As you send your children to school, please keep a watchful eye for any suspicious activity around the bus stops,” Castagna's letter reads. “I encourage you to closely supervise all children at bus stops and routes to school. As more information becomes available, we will be sure to keep you updated.”
The superintendent's letter suggested websites parents and guardians could access to help them discuss “stranger danger” with their children and “to keep them on high alert and cautious of their surroundings.”
Included is a series of YouTube videos on kids' safety and self-defense.
“As always, please know that your child's safety is of first and foremost importance,” Castagna continued. “We take any and every incident seriously and make the necessary accommodations to protect your children.”
Munhall police were dealing with a different issue on Thursday night.
An Amber Alert was issued for Dechanel Morris and Shaeona Haynes-Duncan, 14, who were described on the Munhall Crime Watch Facebook page only as “missing persons/runaway.”
The two girls last were seen in the Munhall area, the crime watch reported. Police are asking anyone who has seen Dechanel or Shaeona to call the borough's dispatchers at 412-464-7300 or Allegheny County 911.
Staff Writer Tim Karan contributed to this story. Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Community cooperation credited in Glassport shooting arrests
- Water line break mars first day of Lincoln Way upgrade in White Oak
- Charges expected in fatal Duquesne accident
- Primanti Brothers manager admits to stealing $30K
- Proposed bill would limit private meeting circumstances in Pa.
- Ex-Allegheny County police officer pleads guilty in hit-run death
- Children present ‘Cinderella’ at Elizabeth theater
- Little Theater’s ‘Boeing’ cure for winter blues
- Steel Valley decides on new business manager
- Plaza’s pending sheriff’s sale a surprise to West Mifflin officials
- McKeesport aerobic fundraiser for cystic fibrosis challenges attendees