An in­ci­dent at Rus­sell Pu­blic School has promp­ted a reminder to pa­rents about ma­king sure of their chil­dren’s safety going to and from school. Po­lice have al­so is­sued a “sus­pi­cious per­son” alert.

Staff in­ter­ve­ned on Sep­tem­ber 4 when an uni­den­ti­fied per­son tried to pick up one of the chil­dren from the Kin­der­care day­care centre, a pri­va­te­ly-ow­ned child­care ser­vice that ope­rates on the Rus­sell Pu­blic School grounds. The per­son was not au­tho­ri­zed to pick up the child and was pre­ven­ted from lea­ving with the young­ster.

The OPP was cal­led about the in­ci­dent and are now in­ves­ti­ga­ting. Meanw­hile, the school pos­ted an alert to pa­rents about the in­ci­dent on so­cial me­dia, through the Up­per Canada Dis­trict School Board’s Fa­ce­book page.

Po­lice have re­lea­sed a des­crip­tion of a man who is now a sus­pect in the day­care in­ci­dent.

They al­so have com­plaints about a car that fol­lo­wed a child on a bike in the Vil­lage of Rus­sell.

The sus­pect is a white man, about fi­ve­foot-nine, age bet­ween 35 and 40, and En­glish-spea­king with no ac­cent. He has a num­ber of tat­toos, and is des­cri­bed as well built and un­sha­ven, though his fa­cial hair does not fea­ture ei­ther a goa­tee or long si­de­burns. At the time of the Sep­tem­ber 4 in­ci­dent, he was wea­ring a plaid shirt.

Po­lice have a re­port that on Sep­tem­ber 5, around 2:30 p.m., an ol­der mo­del black car slo­wed down and fol­lo­wed a child who was bi­king along Conces­sion Street and Craig Street in Rus­sell. The side win­dows and wind­shield were tin­ted so the child could not see who was dri­ving the car.

The sus­pect ve­hicle is an ol­der mo­del car, bet­ween a Hon­da Ci­vic and Nis­san Maxi­ma in size, with tin­ted win­dows, and dark rims on the wheels. There was some rust above the li­cense plate.

Po­lice do not know yet if both in­ci­dents are re­la­ted. Anyone with in­for­ma­tion to help iden­ti­fy ei­ther the man or the car in ei­ther in­ci­dent can contact Det-Cons­table Mi­chael Cun­ning at 613-443-4499 or mi­chael.cun­

They can al­so phone the Crime Stop­pers confi­den­tial tips line at 1-800-222-8477. Any child or pa­rent concer­ned about a pos­sible sus­pi­cious per­son can al­so call 911.

Rus­sell Pu­blic School has al­so re­min­ded pa­rents about the Safe Ar­ri­val and De­par­ture Pro­gram pro­to­col, whe­re­by all Up­per Canada dis­trict staff re­ceive trai­ning to en­sure the safety of chil­dren while they are at school. Staff at the Kin­der­care day­care al­so fol­low the child safety pro­to­col.

Full de­tails of the pro­to­col are in­clu­ded in eve­ry student’s school agen­da book and are al­so available to pa­rents upon re­quest by pho­ning 613-445-2190.

—pho­to Gregg Chamberlain

La ra­pi­di­té d’ac­tion du per­son­nel a évi­té qu’un en­fant quitte la gar­de­rie Kin­der­care, si­tuée sur le ter­rain de la Rus­sell Pu­blic School, avec un étran­ger. La Po­lice pro­vin­ciale de l’On­ta­rio en­quête pré­sen­te­ment sur cet in­ci­dent sur­ve­nu le 4 sep­tembre.

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