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Chesterfield parents asked to watch for suspicious man at bus stops

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UPDATE:Chesterfied police tell us they have identified the person some parents thought was suspicsious.  Police say he is a lawn care worker who had pulled over because of trouble with his pickup truck.  Police say there is absolutely, nothing suspicious about the man.

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CHESTERFIELD, MO (KTVI)-- Police are hoping to identify a suspicious person spotted near a number of bus stops in a Chesterfield neighborhood near Baxter and Clayton Roads.  Police received reports of an older, heavy-set, white male with gray hair and a gray beard.  He was driving a small maroon or burgundy pickup truck.

Police say even if there`s a perfectly good explanation for the man`s presence, they still applaud parents for reporting their suspicions.

"They`re the ones who know who belongs in the neighborhood and what cars belong in the neighborhood," said Chesterfield Police Lt. Mike Thompspon.  "When they see something that doesn`t fit, absolutely we want them to call us."

The Parkway School District sent out warnings to parents and students of schools in the area.  Here is the letter sent from Parkway West Middle School:

Dear Parents,

I want to make you aware that the Chesterfield Police Department is currently investigating reports of a suspicious vehicle in the area. The vehicle is described as a small, maroon or burgundy pickup truck and the driver is an older, heavy set man with gray hair and, possibly, a gray beard. The reports vary, but on at least one occasion the man was seen walking outside the truck with the hood up.

If you know who this man is or have any information that could assist in the investigation, please contact the Chesterfield Police Department immediately at 636/537-3000. To our knowledge, the man has not attempted to contact any of our students but we wanted you to be aware as a precaution. Parkway`s Security Department and SROs are monitoring the situation closely and working with the police to determine whether we have any reason for concern. We have also let our bus drivers know so they can be on the lookout for this individual. You can help, too, by watching for this vehicle and reporting anything unusual to the police.

We will continue to be vigilant about protecting our students while they are in our care. I encourage you to spend a few minutes with your children and remind them about what to do if a stranger approaches or if they feel uncomfortable in any situation out in the community.

Absolutely nothing is more important to us than the safety of your child. Thanks for everything you do to help keep our students safe as well. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me.

Sincerely,

Linda A. Lelonek
Principal

127 comments

  • Diana Malan

    Complete SLANDER for the man doing his lawn care job in the area!

    What proof was there prior to making an alert, besides gossip?

    Gossip kills, it also causes law suits.

    Was it the police that warned of the suspicious person (lawn care man doing his job) or was it gossip that caused a flurry of texting which caused the news to report?

    And since I know the incident did not start with the police, Channel 2 news then made a misleading statement…based on hysterical, imaginings of gossipers.

    • Dani

      Diana,

      Please note, slander would mean that someone actually reported this gentleman’s name. None of the “idiots” you mention ever reported the name of this gentleman or the name of the company he works for. All the parents were asking for was confirmation that their children were safe.

      You are the closest link to this gentleman that the general public has. As far as I am aware this man’s name was never released. How do you slander a mysterious person. Please quit judging (not slandering) innocent parents that just want their kids to be safe.

  • Diana Malan

    Actually, I am completely sickened by fox 2 news sloppy journalists….Really, hysterical gossip is all you need to slander someone?

    Haven’t you ever heard about the telephone game?

    My God, it is sickening.

  • A

    My husband owns a lawn care business and it is not part of his job function to park near various bus stops and pretend to have car trouble. He does not need to open his truck hood to complete a lawn care job. Who is doing lawn care now in this extended winter season anyway? Diana, your comment does not make sense.

    Every email forwarded by concerned parents had been careful to point out that they hope that they are wrong about their concerns, but they want parents to be aware and cautious.

    If you know something about this man and everything is ok you should contact the Chesterfield police to clear things up.

    A

    • Patrick

      Actually lawn care does start in February. Trugreen and all other large fertlizing companies start fertlizing at this time. He also could have been giving out estimates to potential customers.

  • Diana Malan

    He did not pretend to have car trouble, are you kidding. His car overheated and it is at an auto repair shop right now. He stopped ONCE in his lawn care route and a woman was walking her child to the bus stop by him and she asked if he was okay, and he told her that his truck had overheated. the police said that then the gossip started and overwhelming amounts of texting and the school was notified and then the news….ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

    The report even says that he had not even approached anyone…REALLY!!!!

    You stop once to fix your truck while you are working and the gossip gets out of control.

    I hope very concerned citizens make sure that they know what they are talking about before the incite an entire neighborhood and
    SLANDER an innocent individual who is doing his job.

    And, for your information…lawn care companies do ESTIMATES during the winter before spring. They also call ahead and get PERMISSION to leave the estimate…what kind of lawn care man is your husband to not know this.

    I hope he is next on the gossip hit list.

    • A

      Diana…

      It sounds like you know this man. You should encourage him to contact the Chesterfield police to clear things up. The parents in the Chesterfield area would love nothing more than to know that everything is ok and their children are safe.

      I’ve been through decades of lawn care marketing seasons and people aren’t interested in estimates when winter is still in full swing.

      You seem really passionate about the integrity of this man – just reach out to the police to clear it up.

      A

      • Diana Malan

        Actually A,
        You do not know lawn care. The business is getting 30-50 leads a night for estimates. Spring will soon be on us…That is 150 to 250 leads a week of people wanting estimates…..obviously the general public disagrees with you.

      • Diana Malan

        A, apparently you did not get some of the information:

        The police did clear it up…
        Here is what they said, “texting got out of control and the story grew legs. the school was contacted and somehow the news was contacted.

        Just like the childish game of telephone. One person says something in another’s ear, the story grows a little when that person says something in another persons ear, and eventually, the story is out of control and the truth has been lost.

        That is what happens with gossip.

        SLANDER

  • Diana Malan

    In fact what is his description and what type of car does he drive…we will plaster his description and vehicle information on the news as someone who is “suspect” because his vehicle overheated……

    How does that sound to you?

  • Diana Malan

    Let’s put this in an nother working field, the grocer at the local grocery store sees women and their children all of the tme….should he be suspect?

    Or how about the plumber or heating and air conditioner man making a house call…should they be suspect?

    Your post was ridiculously NOT thought out…you can live your life thinking that EVERYONE is “suspect”.

    Maybe we should watch out for everyone.

    THINK, why don’t you. It is pure and simple SLANDER.

  • A

    If it is true that the Chesterfield police have determined there is no risk, you should ask that Fox 2 news, Chesterfield police, and the area schools share that information broadly.

    You should consult with an attorney as you are misusing ‘slander’.

    • Diana Malan

      A,
      If your car broke down and someone decided to call someone and then call someone and then text…the police said the texting was ridiculous and the story “grew legs”….

      Then, your description and your vehicle description was broadcast over the news because paranoid, busy bodies had delusions…

      What would you say?
      How would you feel?

      When you drive your car now, people will see you and think what?

      It ABSOLUTELY is slander…and it is based off of the imaginings of hysterical gossips…they need help.

  • Madison

    Unfortunately these days, yes we do need to watch out for everybody. I hadn’t heard anywhere that a name was connected to this report nor was the suspect accused of anything other than the facts of his whereabouts so not sure where the slander comes in play. You must not have little kids. You would surely see this differently if you did. I’d rather be safe than sorry any day of the week.

    • Diana Malan

      You shoud not assume…I have raised six children and I have 14, soon to be 15 grandchildren….I don’t think everyone, surveyors, construction workers, gardeners, etc. are a threat to them because they are by their truck…are you kidding. If you do, seek counseling.

    • Diana Malan

      I guess, Madison, that you would not mind then if you were the target of the next gossip….and it was you being broadcasted over the news…You would rather be safe than sorry…when you did ABSOLUTELY nothing but try to get your car running because you were working and it overheated…but that is enough to suspect you – maybe you will be next, who knows. It apparently is fair game to run with any information, factual or not.

  • Diana Malan

    For the idiot who created the report and the individuals who donot know the meaning of slander

    slan·der
    [slan-der] Show IPA

    noun
    1.
    defamation; calumny: rumors full of slander.

    2.
    a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name.

    3.
    Law. defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.

    verb (used with object)
    4.
    to utter slander against; defame.

    verb (used without object)
    5.
    to utter or circulate slander.

    • A

      The definition you copied and pasted from the Internet for slander is correct. Slander has not occurred here.

      I don’t have time to debate you any further but if everything is on the up and up, I’m sure the news media, police, and schools will have your back and provide the public with facts.

      I mean this with the most sincerity – I hope the children in this area, including your grandchildren, remain safe from predators. Parents are wise to be protective and cautious and you will never convince me otherwise.

      • Diana Malan

        What part of a lawn care man doing his job and his truck overheats, so he puts up the hood to get it going….means that he is a “predator”, as you said? What part of that suggested that any children were in harm?

        It was the gossip that got out of control that suggested that…

        Suggesting someone is a predator and that children are in danger IS DEFINITELY SLANDER.

        And the person who started the rumor needs to get counseling if she is that paranoid.

  • rick

    You should get some meds you need them. Also why didnt he come forward right away to clear his name so this would end and everyone would know its not him. People are still scared and looking for his truck. Does he have something to hide. So the entire city of chesterfield slandered him? Hahahahaha

    • Diana Malan

      Actually, Rick, we saw that on the news and since there is nothing to hide, we did not think anything about it. Once if was found out that it was him, he did talk with the police.

      If you were working and some hysterical paranoid person (who is the one who needs meds, along with all of the gossipers who got the parents all worked up) decided to target you with her delusions and you had no clue because you had just been doing your job…as you had for the past 20+ years…and you saw something on the television, would you assume it was you? No, you would not.

      How absurd you are. the parents as well, especially the ones who started the nonsense.

  • Diana Malan

    For everyone who thinks that it is okay to have your description and your vehicle description broadcast on the news simply because you are working and your truck breaks down…

    Why don’t you all send that information in to fox news and have them broadcast your information…

    Nothing wrong with that, right?

    Nothing at all.

  • Diana Malan

    “We will continue to be vigilant about protecting our students while they are in our care. I encourage you to spend a few minutes with your children and remind them about what to do if a stranger approaches or if they feel uncomfortable in any situation out in the community.

    Absolutely nothing is more important to us than the safety of your child. Thanks for everything you do to help keep our students safe as well. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me.”

    In my opinion, the principle nor the parents are not concerned with the emotional “safety” of the children…if they respond like this to a poor lawn care worker doing his job and his truck overheats….

    what kind of message are you all sending to those poor children. RIDICULOUS

  • Diana Malan

    It does not matter to me how paranoid the parents get when they see a worker out doing his job…

    What concerns me is that the Fox 2 News channel responded to gossip and essentially slandered an innocent man, a good man.

    They only had many different pieces of gossip to go on, and they ran with it.

    It is slander. It is not right. If anyone who reads this believes that it is right, then put yourself right there too – go ahead and call yourself in as a suspect….suspicious of what? Nothing.

  • Amanda

    I don’t care who you are or what your doing now a days anyone who looks out of place near a bus stop, park etc where there are children should be considered suspicious!!! You can not be to safe now and if that was me with a so called broken down truck I would not be upset if parents called on me, actually I would thank the parents for being so cautious!!

    • Diana Malan

      when it is you, you will change your tune.Cautious is one thing, call the police, the police could have helped him with his car…you don’t go crazy calling other people and texting to the point that the neighborhood is going insane with paranoia.

      The gossip was wrong. It turned to slander. If you wonder about someone call the police and have them check it out. You don’t call and text a bunch of people get the story rolling then call the school and the news.

      What is wrong with you? I hope your car does not break down in an area that nobody knows who you are…you might not be so lucky.

  • Madison

    It’s hard to say what I would or wouldn’t do if this happened to me. I’m sure I’d be embarrassed but would be quick to clear my good name. You have realize kids are being abducted in alarming numbers today. This happened on the heals of 10 year old Haley being taken, and killed. It wasn’t a lawn care provider, it was a middle school coach and substitute teacher. In many cases it’s a neighbor or relative or trusted friend who you would never suspect that can harm your child.

    This is what I read in the Fox 2 article:

    Police say even if there`s a perfectly good explanation for the man`s presence, they still applaud parents for reporting their suspicions.
    “They`re the ones who know who belongs in the neighborhood and what cars belong in the neighborhood,” said Chesterfield Police Lt. Mike Thompspon. “When they see something that doesn`t fit, absolutely we want them to call us.”

    It clearly states he could have been there for a perfectly good reason. Nobody accused him of trying to do anything he didn’t do, they were just being cautious. Like I said, I can’t say how I’d react if this was me or someone in my family that had been reported, but I’d like to believe that I would understand with all the current happenings parents are just trying to look out for the children. I’d like to think I wouldn’t call everyone delusional, paranoid, and gossipers. It’s unfortunate that we have to be so overly cautious of our surroundings these days, but bad stuff is happening everyday and it is happening all around us. I hope you can understand that.

    • Diana Malan

      Once again I ask:

      What part of someone’s car breaking down indicates “predator”? (slander)
      What part of someone’s car breadking down indicates “potential harm to any children”? Especialy since there were no children. (slander)

      Faulty news work….Hysterical, paranoid gossipers That is all it is.

      and not one of the true Perpetrators (the parents, school, fox 2 news) has offered any apologies for their imaginings, hysteria, paranoid gossiping.

      Sick sick people

  • Diana Malan

    Madison,
    He does not have to “clear” his good name. He did talk to the police. He did not do anything to cause this….the parents of chesterfield did this in their imagination – and why are you slandering him by comparing him to the SCHOOL EMPLOYEE that murdered astudent?

    SLANDER

    He did not have anything at all to do with any children. His car broke down and He stopped to fix it. I would call them paranoid hysterical gossipers and I do call them that. There was no reason for a person to see someone fixing their car, ask if they are okay, get the answer and then cause an avalanch of the “telephone game” and then Channel 2 news posting the hysterical paranoid gossip on the news….

    SLANDER

    He was working, like he has his whole life…that is it.
    If you all are so traumatized by the Haley situation…for real get some counseling.

    You CANNOT say that any person on the street is a possible predator.

    By the way, the MAJORITY of kid nappers and rapists…KNOW THEIR VICTIMS VERY WELL Friends of the family, family members, TEACHERS, etc. Not some poor old guy that had the unfortunate situation that his car broke down in a neighborhood where his truck is not brand new, He is not wearing a suit….so he must be a “predator” You all are sick

    It is SLANDER

  • Diana Malan

    And, why should someone who is working…all of a sudden to answer to the neighborhood and “clear” their name….you sick people.

    Be concerned about your teachers, coaches, etc. If the paranoia comes from the Haley siutation.

    Just because someone does not drive a new vehicle like you and is a laborer sort of worker…PLEASE

    IT IS SLANDER

    Get some help.

    It is COMPLETELY not okay that channel 2 ran with this no matter if it says “even if it’s nothing” KIDDING ME…Let the person who wrote this article have HIS description and the description of his vehicle blasted on the news and not just blasted on the news, but have it “SUGGESTED” he is a predator. Go ahead Jeff Bernthal…make yourself a suspect of being a suggested predator.

    Slanderer

  • Diana Malan

    What is especially sickening is that not one of you people who particpated in the hysterical gossip has held yourselves accountable and said, “Oh my God, our paranois and gossip caused this poor man to have to talk to the police, to have his description and vehicle broadcast on the news…we have done a wrong to him!!”

    Not one of you…you are sick slanderers.

    Get counseling. Hold yourselves accountable for how you have wronged a good man. Sick sick people.

  • Diana Malan

    Hey Jeff Bernthal,
    What “evidence” did you have prior to slandering a good man’s name – GOSSIP?

    Slanderer

    Don’t you have any laws you need to abide by? Don’t you have any professional ethics that you should be following? Did you smell “stink” and it attracted you to hurt someone?

    Slander

    • Diana Malan

      By the way Jeff, even the lawn care man, when he makes a mistake will apologize and go and apply fertilizer for free.

      What does a news man and parents of Chesterfield do when they cause a mistake that is slanderous to an innocent GOOD MAN?

  • J

    As a business owner, I wouldn’t be arguing with everyone who lives in Chesterfield… At this point I would advise you to chill out before someone figures out your company name, as YOU are being obtuse about this situation. I understand you are upset, but take just a second and think about all of what you are saying, you sound a lil bit crazy, no offense… It appears by everyone else’s comments that you are not helping your situation! Stop while your ahead…

      • Diana Malan

        Somebody needs to help the sick people of Chesterfield.

        Somebody needs to hold the media accountable…

        This is a REAL person, a good, honest, hard working family man that some paranoid woman decided to launch a gossip compain against and the media ran with it.

        The people of Chesterfield apparently do not understand, a good, honest, hard working family man…they see everyone but themselves as predators. They are sick.

  • Diana's #1 fan

    Don’t stop! I am bored at work and this is hilarious! Sounds like I need to get in the lawn care business and I will never be bored at work.

    • Diana Malan

      Hey fan,
      I will help you with your boredom, go ahead and give me your description and vehicle description and I will send it to Jeff Bernthal at Fox 2 News and they can broadcast your name on the news…then you can deal with the police investigating gossip.

      Would that help you out? Then you can for quite some time, drive around with people looking at you like you are a criminal. Perhaps, people will even call the police and tell them they saw you.

      Gossip and hysteria is a dangerous thing…and apparently Chesterfield is full of it.

    • Diana Malan

      Why are you so angry that Chesterfield and Fox 2 News are being called out for their ignorance?

      Are you a predator?

      Were you part of this ridiculous nonsense?

    • Diana Malan

      You have committed slander against me, for real, by calling me a disgusting person.

      If by me telling the truth about the out of control gossip in Chesterfield offends you, well, tell you neighbors to stop gossiping.

      I would not want to live there if my life depended on it after all of this.

      I will not frequent any businesses in Chesterfield after all of this.

      You will stop slandering me personally, you don’t know a thing about me.

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