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Masked Man Said to Have Again Approached Wyandotte Child on Way to School

The latest incident happened at about 8 a.m. Friday at Vinewood and 4th streets.

For the second time in less than two weeks, a man driving a small black four-door car and wearing a mask has approached Wyandotte students as they walked to school in the morning, according to a letter emailed to parents by the school district.

The latest incident is said to have occurred at about 8 a.m. Friday when a fifth-grade boy said he was approached by the man at Vinewood and 4th streets as he walked to Garfield Elementary School.

The boy ran to school and immediately went to the office, where Wyandotte police were called.

"We take every one of these cases very seriously and always put the safety of our students first," school Superintendent Carla Harting said.

Friday's incident comes on the heels of an Oct. 22 incident in which three Wilson Middle School students said they were approached by a masked man in a black car near the Indian Village Apartments on Goddard, between Fort and 15th streets in Lincoln Park.

Harting urges parents to stress the importance of stranger danger to their children.

"Please take time to speak to your child about not approaching or talking to strangers," the district's email said. "Remind your child of the importance of reporting these situations to you and to the school."

Harting said she's been in contact with the Wyandotte Police Department, which continues to investigate the two cases.

"Police patrols are being concentrated near schools in the morning and when school is let out in the afternoon," Harting said.

Anyone with information on the incidents is asked to call Wyandotte police at 734-324-4405.

Ali November 03, 2012 at 01:38 AM
This is horrible! Sounds like he is not going to stop till he has a kid Has the offenders list been looked at any of them sickos have a black car? So close to home, we must keep our eyes peeled and find him
jflip November 03, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Stress at WPD. Why do they take 5 min. to answer their phone, what do they do? Also 8 schools do not all start at the same time, get out there and patrol, thats what we pay you for.
Sam123 November 03, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Wow Steve instantly insults the concerned citizens. Calling them high on the hero factor. Nice going.
kelly November 03, 2012 at 01:09 PM
"Hero factor" really? I understand your concern steve for keeping the recovery of this person "safe" but no need to insult concerned parents/residents. I will gladly be my girls hero anyday.
Lizzie November 03, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Maybe Steve should've left out the "hero" comment; But everything else he said is EXACTLY correct. Give the man a break! Im sure he has voiced his opinion out of concern for all the children and citizens.
Paul November 03, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Steve sounds like a bum ! Maybe he's the guy doing this ? We have the right to protect Our kids ! So don't worry about it Steve . Go back in your hole and be quiet
Kathleen November 03, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Unfortunately Natalie this is one of the reason's we should not be cutting our Police Dept., and spending money elsewear. The Police, and Fire are the backbone of this community and to cut their pay, and to lay off, or let them go is irresponsible on this City's part.
Ali November 03, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Hero .. ok if that's what's protecting my kids is. I took it upon myslef to check out sex offenders and to my surprise after checking out all their houses and vehicles came to a house where a man was blowing leaves outside while 2 boys played. There were no more leaves around second his registered vehicle was a Jeep and he had a black 4.door car outside I called wyandotte police and the detective on duty didn't care to check this lead out instead insisted he didn't believe the little 5th grader. With all this said yes Steve parents news to do something apparently I am more of a detective then the professional one. Its a shame. This man must be caught and I have my suspicion
Kathleen November 03, 2012 at 06:33 PM
To add to my last comment....we have promoted within the Police Dept. officer's that should be out on the road, instead they sit in that grand building, and are of no help when it comes to the safety of our children. Just a thought......they should all be on the road when it comes to a safety concern for our kids like this. God help this guy if he is found by a Mom, or Dad. I would show no mercy. Kid's are being taken left, and right, and if parents have to step in for police then so be it! I do believe the outcome would be quite different if a parent were to find him.
Ali November 03, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Kathleen I completely agree. Its up to us
Val Zavala November 04, 2012 at 04:30 AM
As younger more affluent families and increasingly mobile residents move to more prosperous suburbs they leave behind an older, a poorer less mobile population of community where aging infrastructure and abandoned buildings stand. As property owners we pickup the slack. Between rising Utilities and Property Taxes it is becoming unsustainable! This is where Wyandotte is today. One year ago this month, the city scared the daylights out of the good folk in this tiny hamlet with threats to layoff police and firefighters if a “one time” tax millage was defeated. All that dog and pony show about brainstorming ways to save city dollars months earlier were all forgotten. The millage passed, the City Administrator received a salary increase, one sergeant was promoted to Inspector, and the patrol officers and other employees were told to make concessions. A half dozen seasoned officers were given an ultimatum to retire or lose some pension. They know full well how to place more people on the streets without hiring more and save us money but refuse to. You're all correct to be concerned and ask questions. Hold them accountable and demand courteousy, timely response and they stay in the neighborhoods! - Val Zavala, Retired Police Sergeant, June 2012.
Val Zavala November 04, 2012 at 06:32 AM
I was one 7 officers to retire or face the loss of a third of our pension. They used the money they saved from the retirements and tax millage for out-of-control overtime, pay increase for the city administrator and promotion to inspector. Remember that when you call police. Manage excessive time off. Each time an officer uses time off, it forces the City to pay another officer time and half to replace him. It is very lucrative to many but many times the shift runs short due excessive time off and we taxpayers suffer. Eliminate commitments to SWAT, DRANO, and Honor Guard immediately. Each time an officer spends in this assignment, the taxpayers are either paying time and half wages to replace them, or if they cannot be replaced, a shift runs short, and there is one less officer in the neighborhood. Rather than having provocateurs spread the call to hire more police officers consider this novel idea, demand they manage excessive time off; reassign a traffic officer and detective to each patrol shift and you have added another two bodies on the street. Move the lieutenants and sergeants on the street and you have three additional bodies on the street. Now, you have increased the number of people on the road and saved the taxpayers money too! You learn to do more with less, if that does not work, hire part-time officers, or call the Sheriff’s Department in.
Val Zavala November 04, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Predation on the babies and children of this community by sexual offenders is ' intolerable'. There is no justification in this tiny city to support four detectives while the patrol shift gets increasingly smaller and watch neighborhoods victimized by roaming criminals. Traditionally, Wyandotte Police Department has always had "untochables." Downstairs some patrol officers lobbied the City to offer those of us in my group to retire with sort of a “deal we cannot refuse,” and we did. Now the same officers want taxpayers to ante up some more money for more officers. Meanwhile, you have four detectives and traffic officers working all weekdays with weekends off, who are not re-joining the shifts, you have employees taking excessive amounts of time off, you have people taking time off to do every function outside of the police department, all while the taxpayers and residents continue to doll out the cash. Lazy ones making a career of sleeping on the job instead of staying on the road, meeting women clandestinely, leaning back with their feet up, not out on the street, but in the squad room or offices, flipping through magazines watching the clock, hollering for more officers and more wages. If you do not want to hire part-time retired officers back, pay the reserve officers, or call in the sheriff’s department. Your elected officials propagated this mess and they need to be swept from office starting at the top. Bring back honesty and integrity!
Jenn Cushman November 05, 2012 at 12:05 PM
I;m in
Cathy November 05, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Everyday when I take my daughter to Roosevelt we drive down 12th. The young children on a safety post on the corners of Vinewood and 12th are practically in the street, some sit on the orange posts on the southeast corner, if there was some idiot out there, they could easily grab one of the children. When my daughter was in elementary they always had at least one parent for each 4 corners. In light of the recent reports I believe some safety measures should be taken for precaution.
Stanley Gwazaborksi November 05, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Its very unfortunate, but the city has cut the police dept so much that there are usually only three officers on the road.
Stanley Gwazaborksi November 05, 2012 at 08:42 PM
We, the citizens of Wyandotte need to ask our Mayor and council members, why a millage was passed, yet 7 positions have been eliminated in the Police dept this year. This is not the time to have fewer officers on the streets of our city. Although I am currently attempting to research this issue, I do not know this to be a fact, however I have heard that the city finance manager received a huge raise even though he is trying to force paycuts on the police, fire and other city employees. If this is true, it appears as though our city is being severely mismanaged. Let him take a paycut with the rest of the city employees.
wyandotte resident November 05, 2012 at 09:11 PM
WOW Mr. Zavala you are very observant now that your are a retired police sergeant. Did this behavior exist under your leadership? Or, did you choose not to see it then? It’s amazing how you see it now and call it out, but why did you choose to be silent prior to your retirement? If you decide to run for city council will you have the same selective vision? Do you believe that type of vision is what the city needs? Just wondering….
Rhonda Gutierrez November 05, 2012 at 09:55 PM
There is always an officer sitting on Jefferson near Goddard. He sits and waits for speeders and issues tickets. Maybe they should have him patrolling the school areas instead? Also, why are Wyandotte Police Officers allowed to sit in their homes while on duty instead of patrolling our streets?
Val Zavala November 06, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Stings a bit doesn't it?
Val Zavala November 06, 2012 at 01:44 AM
"Did this behavior exist under your leadership?" Yes, it did and the city knew that too. But then again, you already know the answer because few would know that unless you work inside. To answer your question: "Why did you choose to be silent prior to your retirement?" Exactly for the same reason you mask your identity behind "Wyandotte Resident" if you really want to know about being silent. Why don't you post your name and show yourself? Rather than be angry help these people and be courteous to them.
Art Zasadny November 06, 2012 at 01:06 PM
I had the pleasure to meet Officer Zavala seeral times and although the reason for meeting may have been unpleasant (minor automobile collision), he treated me with respect and consideration. To my knowledge, he treats everyone with this same level of professionalism and integrity, so when he brings an issue like this up, I pay attention. I do hope he runs for elected office so I can support him and help him correct these issues and keep Wyandotte on the "straight and narrow".
Val Zavala November 06, 2012 at 05:33 PM
In my opinion, to my mind, as far as I am concerned, one of the most effective means to protecting our children is being a good citizen. Do Not Take the Matter in Your Own Hands, Be A Good Witness instead. Look out and be mindful of other children too! Write down license plates, take a photo, tell a friend, call police, and follow up! In doing so, you want the officers name or badge number and the report number.
Joe November 06, 2012 at 05:55 PM
How did this topic lead to a retired officer bashing the local police department?
Grasshopper November 07, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Because someone is campaigning to be a councilman. If he would have checked this incident was thoroughly investigated and unfounded. Mr Zavala aka "cheesecake" was not forced to retire. He's lucky he wasnt fired after spraying one of his subordinates with pepper spray because he had didnt have the leadership skills to handle the incident in the proper manner. Mr Zavala lacks any leadership skill. It was common place for him to go the other way while his officers were fighting with the bad guys. Think thats the definition of a coward. How can you throw the PD under the bus. Those guys are the best downriver bar none.
Joe November 07, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Well said Grasshopper!
Joe November 07, 2012 at 10:46 PM
I think he sprayed him twice.
Rhonda Gutierrez November 14, 2012 at 01:43 PM
VERY IMPORTANT!!!! PLEASE READ!!!! This is a post from a cousin who lives in Riverview: PLz Plz! EVERYONE SPREAD THIS AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. My 13 yr old grandson who goes to Seitz Middle School in Riverview Mi. missed his bus to the bus stop that goes to the Memorial Elemtary school also in Riverview Mi. 2 blocks from my house. So he started skate boarding to the elementary school , when a man in a dark red ranger pulled along side him trying to get him in his truck. He wanted his address so he could give him a ride home. My grandson said no thank you i'm ok.( to no avail) the man continued to drive alongside him still trying to get him in his truck. My grandson then said leave me the (bleep) alone which made the man mad telling my grandson dont talk to him like that. My grandson then grabbed his skateboard and ran. trying to remember the plate# but couldnt so scared and nervous. Running to memorial elementary he tells the principle. By the time his mother finds out what happen its almost 2 hrs, later. The Riverview police never heard a word about this, which was the principles responsibility to report. The man has dark hair, red looking face maybe wind burnt and also had a backpack in the passengers seat of his truck. remember dark red ranger. PLZ post so all the parents can be alerted . Don't forget this scare just went on a couple weeks age in Wyandotte Mi. in the early hours of the mornings more than once. Parents please watch your children!
Tom Skyler November 14, 2012 at 02:14 PM
A community does better when it has involved and concerned citizens, keep up the good work and hope this person is caught soon. I enjoyed reading "most" of the posts.
Karen McGill January 01, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Some of the above comments worry me. Is Wyandotte about to become like Detroit? Too few police officers to do a job. What happened to the auxiliary police? Couldn't they be used to patrol the schools in the mornings and then afternoons at the end of the school day? I remember in the late 60's when people volunteered to put a purple hand in their front window. That let us kids know that was a safe place to go. I bet that plenty of people would volunteer for that. Or am I giving the residents and the parents too much credit? I don't believe I am. I have faith in the residents of Wyandotte. That's why I've chosen to live here for most of my life.

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