Multiple Pierce County teens chased by suspicious man dressed in black

Jan 17, 2024, 7:52 PM

pierce county students chased...

Sign for Spanaway Middle School on campus grounds. (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

Law enforcement officials in Pierce County are warning families about a man who has allegedly been chasing students in the Bethel School District.

A 13-year-old student first reported this incident on Wednesday, Jan. 10, telling deputies he was chased by a man near Spanaway Middle School. A day later, on Thursday, Jan. 11, a similar incident occurred when a female student at Bethel High School reported an unknown subject chased her.

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“A male jumped out of the bushes and attempted to grab her around the waist,” according to a post on the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Blotter. “The suspect never said anything and never touched the girl who called a friend and ran in the direction of the school.”

Finally, on Friday, Jan. 12, a third incident occurred after another 13-year-old student from Liberty Middle School reported being chased by a man dressed in black. The student was waiting for the bus, and once he found out it was delayed multiple hours, he decided to walk home instead. He took a longer route home after seeing a suspicious man in his path, only for the same man to follow him. Once the student began to run, the man ran after him, but the student made it home safely just as the previous two students did.

These incidents prompted the Bethel School District to send multiple messages to parents in the last week about what was happening.

“We are advising all students and parents to be aware of these incidents and please make sure you watch your surroundings when walking to or from school and or waiting for the bus,” the school district wrote in one message. “If you see someone approaching you that is suspicious please call 911 right away.”

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The suspect has been described differently from the victims, with one describing the man as 5 feet, 10 inches tall with a slim build. Another victim thought he was 6 feet or 6 feet, 1 inch tall with a “bulky” build. But, in all three incidents, the suspect reportedly was dressed all in black,.

“Each incident seems to be similar in nature but we cannot confirm they are related incidents or the same suspect,” the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said.

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