Police chief: 'This was not an enticement or anything'

Police respond after school department sends out email regarding incident

Posted 10/9/20

Barrington Police are calling an incident that occurred on Thursday afternoon a harmless interaction between a 13-year-old student and a passerby.

That is a different message than one that was …

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Police chief: 'This was not an enticement or anything'

Police respond after school department sends out email regarding incident

Posted

Barrington Police are calling an incident that occurred on Thursday afternoon a harmless interaction between a 13-year-old student and a passerby.

That is a different message than one that was shared in an email from school officials on Friday morning.

That statement with the subject title "Important Safety Update" detailed an encounter on Kent Street where a student was approached by a white man in his 40s and asked what he was doing.

Barrington Police Chief Dino DeCrescenzo said the statement from the school department was missing key information.

Further investigation revealed that the juvenile was holding a clipboard and sitting next to the police department's speed indicator sign, which flashes the speed of vehicles.

The chief said the teen was writing down information as the vehicles passed by. The chief said the suspect pulled over his pickup truck as he passed by the boy; he then got out of his truck and asked the boy what he was doing.

"The student said he was doing a school project," said the chief.

At that point, the man got back into his pickup truck and left the area, said Chief DeCrescenzo. It is believed the driver may have been concerned that the boy was writing down vehicle license plate numbers. The boy told his parents about the interaction, and the parents called police.

"This was not an enticement or anything," Chief DeCrescenzo said.

Police also said that the 13-year-old was not a student at nearby Hampden Meadows School, which is located at the intersection of Kent Street and New Meadow Road. Hampden Meadows serves students in Grades 4 and 5.

The schools department's email stated that it was important that any suspicious activity involving unknown persons approaching students be reported as quickly as possible.

"We must remind our children that interactions with unknown adults who are not teachers, school staff, police, or fire personnel should raise a 'red flag' and automatically be deemed suspicious," stated the email. "Walk-in groups, have a 'time limit' as to when you expect your child home, walk on main roads - not dirt paths or areas without many people. Barrington is a very safe town and we are all neighbors; however, we also must remind our children there are certain situations in which they must stay alert."

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