Philadelphia police are seeking the public’s help in identifying a suspected child predator who has accosted at least four children since Nov. 5 in separate incidents near Harding Junior High School.
The first incident occurred at about 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 when a man exited an alley near Torresdale Avenue and Van Kirk Street and grabbed the shirt of a 13-year-old boy, who then fled.
Three days later at about 3:30 p.m., the man was walking a dog along the 2000 block of Wakeling St. when he approached a different 13-year-old boy and asked him to grab the dog’s leash. When the boy refused, the man “shoved” the leash into the boy’s hand, police said. The man eventually grabbed the leash back and walked away.
On Nov. 13 at about 3:15 p.m., the man walked up behind a 12-year-old girl near Harbison Avenue and Ditman Street and called her to “come here,” police said. When the girl ran, the suspected predator walked away.
Two days later at about 3:15 p.m., the man was walking behind an 11-year-old boy and “mumbling incoherently,” police said. The youth ran away.
Victims have described the man as between 35 and 50 years old, black or Hispanic, about 6 feet tall and weighing 200 pounds or more. He has black and gray hair and a gray beard. Call the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3252 to report information about the cases. ••