Perrysburg police and city officials said the teen was misrepresented in the viral post and was not a legitimate case of “stranger danger” on the playground.
PELLYSBURG, Ohio — A viral social media post warning parents to be aware of “stranger danger” at a Perrysburg playground is false, according to multiple sources.
Perrysburg police and city officials debunked a post alleging an adult man was inappropriately interacting with children at Fort Imagination Playground. The post details an interpretation of the events that authorities claim to be false and calls on parents to beware of the person.
WTOL 11 contacted the Perrysburg Police Department and Perrysburg City The post has been submitted to authorities and received a statement and report from the city on Tuesday.
According to two incident reports, officers responded to a suspicious call at about 7:52 p.m. Monday at Fort Imagination Playground. Dispatch told officers that her caller’s husband tried to talk to the person, but she responded with only hand gestures, she said.
Police have identified the person as a 16-year-old, not in his 30s as social media posts claim.
They told the officers that they didn’t talk to anyone because they didn’t want to. They said it was easier not to talk, and that they were autistic and poor at communicating. Because of this, the boy communicated using messages typed on his mobile phone.
They said a 14-year-old boy was pushing other children on a merry-go-round when he called him weird. They wrote messages on their mobile phones to the girls on the merry-go-round and showed them to the police. Neither message contained inappropriate or obscene content, according to the police report.
While the officers were talking to the 16-year-old boy, several groups approached them. A 14-year-old boy who called them weirdos was in the group and provided police with information consistent with the 16-year-old’s statements.
There was no mention of anger gestures or the 16-year-old being told to leave by adults, as social media posts claim.
The boy slapped the 14-year-old on the back for misusing the merry-go-round, according to city officials and police reports. The 14-year-old girl’s mother did not want to press charges because her child was not injured. Police do not refer cases to juvenile prosecutors.
Police and city officials said the 16-year-old was living in a group home and a caretaker was on the playground. The janitor told police he was going to talk to the boys further and took them back to the group home.
Based on information from both police reports and city officials, this was not a case of “stranger danger” and WTOL 11 confirmed the post was false.
https://www.wtol.com/article/news/local/verify-viral-perrysburg-playground-stranger-danger-social-media-post-is-false-alarm/512-c3f8608c-100e-4dbf-aed9-8b2d81f713d7 Was there a “stranger in peril” incident in Perrysburg?