University City Police release man suspected of cruising by scho -

University City Police release man suspected of cruising by school bus stops

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By Elizabeth Eisele By Elizabeth Eisele

( -- A man in a van who frightened children by cruising bus stops and giving out his phone number is picked up by police, but he is back out on the street and one University City mother fears it’s only a matter of time before he snatches a child.

University City Police said they arrested the suspect, charged him and held him over night, but had to let him go.

This concerned mother contacted News 4 and asked to not have her identity revealed.

The mother said her daughter was frightened by a man in a white van who slowly drove by her bus stop Wednesday, shouted his phone number to a high school girl and then tried to draw the girl closer to him.

The mom said her daughter reported the incident to a nearby officer who in turn took the man into custody, but released him. The daughter then told her mother the same man was seen at the bus stop again Thursday.

“I don’t see why you would be at these kids’ bus stop at 7:20 in the morning,” said the mother, “Rolling down your window, smiling at them and giving out your phone number.”

University City detectives said they believe the man was only flirting with the high school girl and thought she was over 18. They said they don’t believe the man had any intentions of abducting a child.

Authorities said he was charged with stalking, but released him because the charge is only a municipal charge and doesn’t come with a bond that would keep him locked up until he paid.

But this University City mother is still suspicious of the man’s motives.

“I’m very concerned. This man is back out on the streets,” said the mother, “They have placed him back out in society and I’m just fearful that he may strike.”

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