BETHLEHEM An investigation by Bethlehem police has found a man did not follow two middle school students as they walked home, and the reported incident was a misunderstanding.
On Tuesday, Nov. 12, two girls believed they were followed by a “white-haired” man while walking home from Bethlehem Middle School. A parent then reported the incident to Bethlehem police and an e-mail was sent home to parents throughout the district the following day.
Detective Sergeant Adam Hornick of the Bethlehem Police Department said the incident was investigated and the matter was a misunderstanding.
“We had already identified the person and interviewed them that same day,” said Hornick. “Some of the information released by the school district wasn't 100 percent correct, and we learned that during the interview.”
According to the district, the students were walking south on Delaware Avenue from Kenwood Avenue when they noticed the man who they believed was following them.
Hornick said the man was not following the girls, but on a walk near his home. The person’s home is in proximity to the school, and the man follows a similar route while walking everyday. The girls saw the man several times while they were walking home and believed they were being followed.
“Everyone should be vigilant in reporting these events to the police,” said Hornick. “It's great that (the girls) reported it. We would rather they report it and then have us find out if it was a criminal action or not, to be safe.”
The man's name was not released for privacy reasons and because no crime took place.
A new e-mail has been sent out to parents explaining that no criminal actions took place and the students were not in danger.
“I commend these students for using good judgment in alerting an adult to what they believed to be unusual circumstances,” said Superintendent Thomas Douglas in the e-mail. “It serves as an important reminder to parents that they should review, on a regular basis, common sense rules for staying safe.”