Case of 'suspicious man' at Little League game closed

Case of 'suspicious man' at Little League game closed
Posted at 2:33 PM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:08-04

The Robinson Police Department have closed a case regarding a report a suspicious man seen at a Little League game on Tuesday.

According to a Facebook post on their page, the Robinson man called the police department after the story was in the news.

"He was concerned the news articles and was very concerned about what people were thinking about him. He was concerned he couldn't go back to that baseball field again because he was afraid somebody may try to hurt him when he had done nothing wrong," said Robinson Police Chief Rusty Smith.

The man explained to police the dad of a 5-year-old old boy and his son approached him. During their conversation, the man asked the dad’s son his age, and how the season was going while his father was present. The man added he didn’t ask boys their ages and who they played for.

Police said the dad had not said the man talked with any other kids.

The man told police he asked a woman what ages the kids were playing, and who they were playing. The woman did not report the man talking to other kids, but she did say she saw the man talking to the dad and his son. 

The woman called the police department because she was suspicious the man didn’t know the kids or the teams playing that night.

Smith said the man's account matched what those present when the situation happened told the officer. 

On Thursday, Robinson Police said there is no connection of this case to the one that occurred in Lacy Lakeview a few weeks back. 

Lacy-Lakeview Police told News Channel 25 that a man asked a girl how old she was and who she was playing for. Lacy-Lakeview Police have since increased their patrols in the area and have not had any other incidents reported.

According to Robinson Police, the man is a former Little League coach who loves baseball and just stopped on his way home to watch part of the game.

“No one ever saw him talking to kids and asking them their ages other than the one where the child’s father was present,” according to the post on Robinson Police’s Facebook. “This got blown way out of proportion."

Smith said parents should talk to their children about where is the proper place for them to be at these types of events. 

"On the other hand, there are people who want to go to the athletic events and just watch," said Smith."Sometimes, we don't know who they are. I hate for us to start judging everybody that are just there to watch a baseball game. At the same time you have to remember stories will change when one person tells the story to another person and that's what happened in this situation."

Smith said he is glad the Robinson Little League posted an alert for the safety of children but those commenting on the story online added details they were not aware of, making the situation more than it was.

News Channel 25 spoke with several families at the Little League games on Wednesday night and they had mixed reactions about the report of a suspicious man.

Vice President of the Board of Directors WH Terry said they're happy the case is resolved. 

"I was glad because at least they put a close to this case but yet I was hoping that's what it was. The way it came out, it wasn't what we were told," said Terry. 

He said when the incident was reported to them on Tuesday, it wasn't mentioned the child was with a child when the man talked to him.  

The Robinson Little League implemented additional safety measures, including keeping children from certain areas and patrolling Youngblood Park, at the Little League games on Wednesday night. In addition, police were patrolling the area keeping an eye out.

Terry who is pleased with the community's willingness to help and take extra precautions when the warning was posted said the league will continue having additional safety measures at Youngblood Park.

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