DENVER -- Two female students learned about wrongdoing in addition to reading, writing and arithmetic Wednesday morning when a man exposed himself to them near an elementary school.
It happened about 8 a.m. near Eagleton Elementary at 8th and Hooker Streets, according to the Denver Police Department.
The school sent out letters Wednesday afternoon informing parents about what must have been a frightening sight for two young girls, aged 9 and 11.
Parents reacted to what the two juveniles encountered in an alley walking to school.
“The cop cars, I’ve seen them driving around all morning,” said Kimberly Guerra, a mother of three kids at the school.
“It’s insane. I don’t understand how people could be doing this,” said Derrick Lacombe, father of a kindergartener.
The two girls told police the man got out of his vehicle in the alley with his pants down.
They immediately reported it to school administrators who called police.
Police and crime scene investigators combed the alley for clues, taking pictures and measuring tire tracks in the snow in the hopes to find leads to a suspect.
Police described the suspect as a Hispanic man, 30 to 40 years old, 5-foot-4 with a medium to heavy build, black hair and gray beard. He drove a white, older-model Jeep Cherokee or Wrangler, they added.
“I have a 9-, 8- and 7-year-old who go here and I would not like them to experience such a thing,” said Guerra -- she came back to the school after hearing the disturbing news. “I have trust in this school but I need to see my kids for myself. I just wanted to come and make sure they’re okay."
“It could be my son," said LaCombe. "It could have been anybody’s child."
LaCombe appreciated the potent police presence around the school, but was shocked kids must learn about the sometimes seedy world right outside their school walls.
“It’s sad the world has come to this. When is this ever going to end?” he questioned.
Initially, the call came in to police as an attempted abduction, but the district said the man did not approach the girls.
The district is also notified other neighboring schools.
Police said they will maintain a heavy presence at the school for the rest of the week.
As police continue their search for the suspect, anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Denver Police Department or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.