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'Droopy-Eyed' Man Threatens Shawmont Students; School, Police Say

Principal Graff sent home letter about Wednesday incident.

Four Roxborough elementary school students were threatened by an unidentified male, according to school district and police reports.

Philadelphia Police spokesperson Officer Jillian Russell said four Shawmont Elementary School students reported that a middle-aged male scared them Wednesday afternoon at Ridge and Shawmont Avenues.

In a letter released by the School District of Philadelphia, Shawmont Principal Michael Graff described the incident to parents Thursday.

The man "grabbed and threatened a child, then released him," Graff wrote.

The incident occurred near 4 p.m., Russell said. This was far removed from school hours, due to an early dismissal, school district spokesperson Fernando Gallard said.

According to Russell, the students involved told the Shawmont staff about the incident, which led to law enforcement involvement.

Students described the male as, "white, 'older,' with white hair and a beard, with a droopy eye (cheek) and driving a black van, SUV," according to the letter.

No injuries were reported, and police did not apprehend anyone fitting that description.

Writing to parents, Graff said the incident should remind parents to be vigilant and aware.

"We are taking steps here at school to alert our staff and review our safety procedures. You should take this opportunity to review safety issues with your children, as well."

In a phone call Friday, Graff deferred specific comment to the school district, but did explain his rationale for sending home the letter.

"It is a police matter, but it's worth mentioning that something like this happened in our community. It's one thing to promote safety but it's another to evoke unnecessary fear," he said.

The district said no other schools sent out advisories.

"Mr. Graff felt that he should send the letter out so he could share the information we knew, at that time," Gallard said.

Shawmont reminded parents to contact 911 if they witness suspicious people and also to alert the school at 215-487-4455.

The Men's Club Barber Shop October 21, 2012 at 04:33 AM
all the parents out there check pameganslaw.com
Melissa Merk October 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM
I have heard they have someone in custody? Btw the principal did the right thing by our kids and should be commended. Police matter BS, families need to know to keep our kids safe, great opportunity to reinforce stranger danger to our kids. Thank you Mr. Graff for doing your job!! 5th district should be ashamed it's public safety you should always make us aware!
The Men's Club Barber Shop October 21, 2012 at 03:22 PM
someone on megans law fits that description
Rox Girl October 22, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Other schools did send home a notice regarding this matter...I know Green Woods Charter School specifically...
Sam Fran Scavuzzo (Editor) October 22, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Oh, thanks, Rox Girl. That makes sense, in that the School District said no other pubic schools sent home a notice. I didn't consider Green Woods Charter, which wouldn't have to clear that with the district.
Ashleyyy November 02, 2012 at 08:54 PM
I go to this school I am an 8th grader and my two friends claimed to witness this man and the man Tryed to scare them
marion frederick January 15, 2013 at 01:49 PM
did the police put leo haley in a line up for these four children? if none of them identified haley then there is the possibility that haley may not have been the man accused of grabbing the 8 year old child; it has been noted by authorities that haley drives a grey car not a black suv. i simply don't want a chance of someone else that dangerous left out on the streets.

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