Police are searching for a man who shook a child inside of St. Vincent Ferrer Church on Tuesday afternoon. The suspicious man entered the church, located at 1530 Jackson Ave., River Forest, at 12:35 p.m., and grabbed the shoulder and arm of a student who was sitting in the church, according to River Forest police.
The unknown man was shaking the student’s arm until others noticed him. Shortly after, the man left the church and has yet to be found. A few students informed the school staff about the incident, who quickly reported it to the River Forest Police Department.
Police describe the man as white, 50 to 60 years old, with long gray hair pulled into a low ponytail. He is possibly missing his right eye, walks hunched over, and was wearing a red Chicago Blackhawks jacket the last time he was seen.
Police are asking the community for assistance to help identify the man. Anyone with information regarding the identity of the perpetrator is encouraged to contact the River Forest Police Department at 708-366-7125.
River Forest School District 90 shared the following information with community members over email to help keep children safe:
- Practice the buddy system. Always try to walk in groups or with at least one other person.
- Walk on sidewalks and other open areas rather than alleys that have less visibility.
- Be aware of your surroundings and any strangers who are nearby.
- If you have a concern about another person near you, go to a neighbor’s house, find an adult to help you, go into a store or other public place, or go back to school.
- Never approach a vehicle unknown to you even if the occupant speaks to you.
- Yell loudly and run if you feel you are in danger.
- Be sure to tell your parents if something happens. Parents should contact the police and the school.