Marion Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Release
Child Reports Being Chased by Stranger Following First Day of School ***Update*** - 09/05/19

On September 4th, 2019, deputies from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an 11-year-old girl being chased by an unknown male while walking home from school.  Through additional investigation, the Sheriff’s Office has learned that while a male was walking behind the child, he did not actively chase her at any time and he is not reported to have said anything to the child while behind her.  The student told deputies something about the man’s behavior made her feel unsafe.  Due to feeling unsafe, the child ran away to a safe location. 

Prior to this incident being reported to the Sheriff’s Office, deputies had contacted a male in the area who matched the description given by the student.  Deputies were able to determine the man was doing door to door sales in the area. Based upon the available information at this time it does not appear as if a crime was committed.

Deputies would still like to speak with the male regarding the incident from yesterday afternoon.  The student described the male as being a black male adult, 40’s-50’s, thin, approximately 6’0”, braided hair with blond or gold colored tips, and no facial hair.  The male is reported to have been wearing a plain white short-sleeve shirt and black jeans with tears in them.  If residents see a male in the area matching the description given by the child, we are asking them to call the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency dispatch at 503-588-5032. 

The Sheriff's Office wants to encourage parents to continue to talk with their children about safety and what to do if they feel unsafe.  We applaud this student for taking action when they felt unsafe and telling a trusted adult about what happened.


This evening the Sheriff’s Office received information that an 11-year-old female student reported to her family members she was being followed after school today by an unknown male.  The child, a student at Adam Stephen’s Middle School, told deputies as they were walking home they noticed an unknown black male adult walking behind them and a group of her friends.  The juvenile said after she left the group and began walking down the street toward her residence alone, the male began chasing her.  The student said she was able to get home and lock herself inside of the residence.  She told her family about what happened when they arrived home later.

The male was described by the child as being a black male adult, 40’s-50’s, thin, approximately 6’0”, braided hair with blond or gold colored tips, and no facial hair.  The male is reported to have been wearing a plain white short-sleeve shirt and black jeans with tears in them.

The Sheriff’s Office has been in contact with officials from the Salem-Keizer School District regarding this incident.  The Sheriff’s Office will have an increased presence in the areas around the school tomorrow in addition to additional security from the Salem-Keizer School District. 

As school resumes, deputies would like to offer the following safety tips to parents:

  • Go over the route with your child.
  •  Point out safe places for them to go if they feel threatened. 
  • Tell them to avoid shortcuts through alleys or secluded areas.
  • Teach your child to stay more than an adult arm's length away from any car that is occupied by a person trying to talk to him or her, so that they cannot be reached by the person inside the car.
  • If someone encourages your child to get into the car, to help find a lost pet, or to leave with them for any reason, he or she should yell "no' as loudly as possible and run to the closest adult whom they know and trust.
  • Teach your child to run in the opposite direction from the one the car is facing. 
  • Remind your child to call 911 to report any attempted luring

Deputies are actively investigating this report and are asking anyone who may have witnessed this incident to contact the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency dispatch at 503-588-5032.

View more news releases from Marion Co. Sheriff's Office.