School Resource Officer Tony Gianinetti watches over the Ridgeview Elementary School neighborhood as students get out of school Thursday afternoon. The Craig Police Department added extra patrols around area schools after two reported incidents of child enticement this week.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

School Resource Officer Tony Gianinetti watches over the Ridgeview Elementary School neighborhood as students get out of school Thursday afternoon. The Craig Police Department added extra patrols around area schools after two reported incidents of child enticement this week.

Craig police step up school patrols amid reports of child enticement

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Story at a glance

■ Two reported incidents of child enticement recently have occurred in Craig.

■ First alleged incident involved two men, one blond and one with a shaved head, in a black SUV.

■ Second incident involved a man in his 20s with shoulder-length black hair in a gray passenger car with body damage.

■ Craig police are investigating.

Recent reports of child enticement have prompted the Craig Police Department to step up patrol efforts around schools, police reported Thursday in a news release.

The police department reported that there have been two incidents recently of strangers reportedly approaching children walking to or from school.

On Wednesday morning, a 10-year-old boy was on his way to a school bus stop when a man in his 20s approached him in a gray passenger car with body damage, police reported.

The man reportedly had black shoulder-length hair and facial hair.

The man reportedly asked the boy to get into his car, and the boy refused. The man then pulled out a handgun, but drove away when he saw people in the area.

Another incident occurred last week near Ridgeview Elementary School.

A fourth-grader was walking home when he was approached by two males in their 30s in a black SUV, police reported.

One had a shaved head and wore sunglasses, and the other had blond hair, according to the news release.

The men reportedly told the student that his father was in a car accident. The student ignored the men and ran home to find his father.

Police officials said they have no evidence the two reported incidents are connected.

School resource officer Mike Edwards said he sporadically hears reports of strangers approaching children and that police take the allegations seriously.

“We like to err on the side of caution,” Edwards said, “so we can do what we can to keep the kids safe.”

He said police will add extra patrols to the areas around schools at the time students are let out.

In the release, the Police Department encouraged parents to discuss with children how to react if approached by strangers.

Police Sgt. John Forgay said the department advises parents and children to remain cognizant of their surroundings.

“They need to be observant of what’s going on around them, and if they see someone hanging around, report it immediately, and we’ll check it out,” Forgay said. “It’d be nice, if they have a cell phone, to report it right then and there.”

He said families can take several measures to improve safety when students are walking to and from school.

He advised parents to talk to their children about not speaking to strangers and running to a safe place if someone they don’t know approaches them.

“One thing we always stress is kids should always walk in groups of at least two to wherever they may be going,” he said. “And they should avoid places that are unfamiliar.”

Anyone with information about the reported incidents is to call the police department at 824-8111.

Comments

vic 4 years, 6 months ago

What should we expect when known/convicted child molesters are released into our community? I saw a program years ago where child molesters were interviewed. Every single one of them said as soon as they got out, they would do it again - that there was no "rehab" for them. One said it was a sick desire and he hoped he never got out. I sure hope our LE gets right on this. It is the most serious and heinous crime I could ever think of.

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GlacierDragon 4 years, 6 months ago

Time to remind kids to walk home in groups of two or more when possible!

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David Moore 4 years, 6 months ago

Great, this is one of those things, as a father, that keeps me up at night. I am with you 100% vic, why can't Craig pull it's head out of the sand and ban sexual deviants from even living here? We make ordinances to control everything else, some inane things at that, why not perverts? GlacierDragon, good advice and to further bolster your words of wisdom, and quoting the paper, it is imperative that you sit down with your kids tonight and talk with them on what to do if ever in this situation.

My challenge to the rest of this forum:

Instead of sitting behind your screen whining about the sky falling, the world coming to an end or what the hospital did today, why not get out and make a difference and do something worthwhile. I went out today after reading this to find my child to warn her and educate her on what to do. I then proceeded to just drive around, observing and watching at various schools within town. If more of us would get out and participate in protecting our most precious possessions in situations like this, these weirdos won't stand a chance of nabbing someones kid. I am assuming that the law does not have the manpower to patrol as I did not see one police unit at, or around, any of the schools I observed today...I did not make it out to Ridgeview so they may have been in that area. It is in my opinion that we as parents, citizens, loafers and internet whiners need to get out and help the police so that a tragedy does not occur, it will do you some good to unglue your fingers from the keyboard for a half an hour each day after school. I, like most people, have a job and cannot do it everyday, however until this is resolved I will be out there if not needed at work and I encourage the rest of you to do the same. Watch the bus stops in your neighborhood, walk around the schools, carry your cell with you and if possible a camera to maybe catch a photo of suspicious vehicle or license plate, anything to help the law bring this to an end. I for one am tired of this crap and am going to try to make a small difference whether anyone else deems it worthy or not. I am not a vigilante and am not stupid enough to approach or confront a mentally twisted individual, however, rest assured if I see something I will call it in and I will follow them until apprehended. This cannot happen in our town and maybe I'm overreacting but when it comes to the safety of our children, there is no overreacting. Thank you.

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slipknot 4 years, 6 months ago

Good ideas except in one case I'm personally aware of the registered offender (a father) was given temporary custody because mom didn't have a place to live, and in the meantime perv failed to register (twice) mom got the little kid, got a job, a place to live, everything except legal custody. Now the perv is living in Craig, is registered although not at the place he's supposed to be, is living with a drug user of some sort, and living in a 16 to 19 foot camper with an eight year old boy and the cops let it happen. Mom can't afford an attorney because she makes barely enough to take care of herself, too much for legal aid and the perv needs the kid to qualify for food stamps.. I'll tell you what DavidMoore it can and is happening in your town, and will continue until YOU and the rest of your fellow citizens band together and throw organizations like CAPS out and insist that they stay out. Just because the pervs are released and clean when they are off paper, don't mean they'll stay that way, or that they'll leave Craig, when they're off paper. Approach your Chief of Police and see if you can get a volunteer citizen policing program going it's working in places like Saratoga Springs, Utah and other towns and smaller cities where citizens are concerned about the lack of law enforcement, not due to police effort, but due to police numbers on patrol and sometime questionable patrol officers. I'm sorry if I offend some tender heart out there but truth is truth and if I get struck oh well

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reader1 4 years, 6 months ago

Those men are disgusting. It is important now more than ever that we all become aware of all children. It is time we come together and help watch all children, not all parents can be at the bus stop to pick their children up, but for those of us who are lucky enough to have that option - watch for things that look out of sorts. Make sure that you are not only concerned about your own childs well being, but that of all children. Craig comes together in times of need, and nothing is more important than our children. Do not let these disgusting excuses for humans ruin our great, safe community.

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James81625 4 years, 6 months ago

Ok everyone, those poeple will not stop, so we all need to help out by passing this info around to as many people as we can. Start texting all your friends, your kid's friends and anybody you can think off. We the people can get the word out faster with all this new technology we all carry on us. Have everybody start paying more attention to strange/unknown poeople and vehicles in the ares. Write down there plates or take a picture with your phones. If we all do this and don't assume the police will take care of it by themselfs, then we become a tool for the Police to use, to help them stop this BEFORE someone is taken. Our Police are good but more of them are needed. Lets Help them as much as they Help us, which is what allows us all to sleep peaceful at night

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chefbaden 4 years, 6 months ago

I think its a great idea on the police patrols; what the town should have done first was NOT allow the child molester convicts into town in the first place!! The kids are our future, and we need to protect them

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skom 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sure what people mean by "not allowing child molesters in town". Child molesters are born here, raised here, many not yet convicted. Some are just traveling through. Sexual Predators are in every city/town, every state and it is the job of a parent to teach their children about safety, protect them, and help protect other's in the community you are in. It's a comforting thought to think that we can ban sexual predators from our community but it is not a reality.

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vic 4 years, 6 months ago

Why? Why do we have to accept convicted molesters from other states? Is there some sort of unspoken law that says we HAVE to take them into our community? I understand people being born and raised here, but I do not understand taking them in from elsewhere. Personally, I think once convicted, they should never be permitted to walk the streets again. A crime against a child should come with a life sentence.

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skom 4 years, 6 months ago

So lets just put an "Are you a convicted sexual predator?" question on the official "Application to Move to Craig, Colorado." Then anyone who checks "yes" will have their application denied, and anyone who checks "no" will be approved. Problem solved.

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reader1 4 years, 6 months ago

I agree with vic. Any crime against a child should result in a life sentence.

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vic 4 years, 6 months ago

Oh please skom...of course they (LE) know who they are before they come. They are required to register and notice of their arrival is published in the paper. Their name, address and picture is posted on the PD or SO websites. Do some slip through the cracks? Undoubtedly. Were some born and raised here...and have yet to be caught? Unfortunately probably yes. We can't be pervert free, but my question is still...why do we HAVE to accept the ones that come from elsewhere...when they get out of prison?

And yes, slipknot...we need to get CAPS out of downtown Craig. Move them to the outskirts of town and let them grow their own food and learn some useful skills to help them blend back into society. I would have to say, some CAPS "members" made a stupid mistake and deserve another shot...but since we are not real sure if they are mistake makers or real criminals, they need to be away from the general public, not walking through town or City Mkt unsupervised.

I do realize some people are in CAPS, jail or prison because of something stupid. But that "stupid mistake" theory NEVER EVER apllies to a child molester. They know what they are doing and more oft than not, they kill the child so they have a better chance of not getting caught. I cannot think of a harsh enough punishment for someone like this...and to turn them out into a quiet little town is bizarre and stupid. Why should they get another chance?

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vic 4 years, 6 months ago

And by the way...I AM watching the kids every day. I have quite a few that walk past my house. I am out of sight and armed with my camera. So, consider yourself warned perverts, try anything in my little neck of the woods and you will be stopped and you will be caught.

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taxslave 4 years, 6 months ago

Almost every catholic priest in this country, the entire world for that matter, has confessed to raping little boys and nobody does a think about it because the vatican won't allow prosecution of their own. The church just pays off families. Perhaps these perps follow in the footsteps of the pope.

And before you scoff.....verify.

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sparky 4 years, 6 months ago

For this very reason...my child will not be going to public school.I am a very hands on parent..I know where he is at all times.I realize alot of parents are working during school hours.But alot are not I would never allow my precious child to walk to school alone or even with friends. There is just too much that can happen now .It will never be safe again not like when we were young.It is my responsibilty to make sure he is safe and I will do that no matter what it takes.

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slipknot 4 years, 6 months ago

A good place to start is go to the web site that lists the local Registered sexual Offenders. Get to the point where you can identify each and every one of them, but be careful, because infringing on their rights is just like infringing on the rights of someone else, and whatever you do could be considered a hate crime, but identify them, so you'll know them if you see them prowling your neighborhoods or schools.. The same website will give you a link to other states. Go for it. You can find it on the Craig City PD link. You'll find them in packs.

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greeneyedgirl73 4 years, 6 months ago

Here is the link: http://www.craigpolice.org/sex_offenders.htm I look at it periodically just to keep the names and faces fresh in my mind. At the very least, they need to be kept under a watchful eye.

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als362 4 years, 6 months ago

I think the best way to keep these offenders off the streets would be to make thier sentence a mandatory death sentence.
Then no one has to watch them, no one has to process them, no registry will be needed, and it will send a very clear message to possible future violators that this will not be tolerated.

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vic 4 years, 6 months ago

Perfect - and no one...not even Priests should be an exception.

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daybyday 4 years, 6 months ago

I don't know why there isn't a more comprehensive list of registered sex offenders, but you will find some on the Craig PD site, some on MC Sheriff, and currently there are 30 (!) in the Craig area on familywatchdog (dot) us. Family watchdog lists 7,178 in Colorado, but no photos. We have to remember that these are only the ones who have been caught and convicted, and there are, undoubtably, a sickening number of offenders who have not been caught, and are living, working and playing next to you, me and our precious children.

There are so many problems with our criminal justice system that I wouldn't know where to start. There are no corrections in our prison "correctional" system, where convicts just learn how to be better criminals, making our prisons revolving doors of repeat offenders. In the defense of CAPS, they work to change that by reducing the chances that certain offenders will repeat. Most offenders don't "pay" for their crimes (taxpayers sure do though). Because of the revolving doors, our prisons are so overcrowded that violent offenders are being released early into society with enhanced criminal skills. Because of prison overcrowding, we are ridiculously soft on crime, and violent criminals who have committed horrible crimes against innocent adults and children are being released daily with a slap on the wrist. Most criminals don't pay for their crimes, but are, at worst, temporarily inconvenienced.

In the case of sex offenders, they cannot be rehabilitated and most will reoffend upon release. They shouldn't be let off with a slap on the wrist or a stern warning, they shouldn't be held in protective custody, and they shouldn't be released.

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als362 4 years, 6 months ago

Here's an idea.
What if all sex offenders had to wear something that told the world who and what they are every time they are outside thier abode.
If caught not wearing that tell tale item, mandatory death sentence, no appeal. The item could be a hat, shirt, coat, or anything that stands out and tells the world thier tale of disgrace.

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vic 4 years, 6 months ago

Good idea - I know in OH, people with DUI's (not sure if it is a certain number ie: habitual) have to display a certain color license plate. Lets people on the roads know to watch out for them. If our "system" insists on releasing child molesters, we should be able to identify them, in addition, they should have to wear those nice little GPS bracelets. Speaking of...I recently saw a very cool watch for children with a tracking system. Right now they are pricey at $180...but the technology is there and I am sure the price will become reasonable. I can tell you when it is, all 4 of my Grandchildren will have one..

I hear all the politicians from the local level on up to the Federal level constantly quipping "for the children". They are always revamping our educational system, building things for them to do and so on...how about they start by putting some laws into effect to protect them. I would think that to be the most basic and important task.

As for CAPS, my problem with them being in town is that they are walking around, shopping and riding the bus to Steamboat unsupervised. Not all of them are simple offenders that made a stupid mistake. It's presence in town puts us all at risk.

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westslopeguy 4 years, 6 months ago

I think that's a good idea,. Let's brand them, maybe with a tattoo, like Hitler instructed under the Third Reich, identifying them as Catholic, Jew, Polish, or generally Non-Arian.

Don't get me wrong, I have NO respect for child molesters. As most in this thread believe, a child molester IS the scum of the Earth. But, with regard to issues of public safety, we really don't need to pay attention to the US Constitution, civil rights, or (hey-who cares about...) basic human rights. (ref: "privacy law" exceptions post 9-11)

I think in cases of "national emergencies" , as this apparently is, (yes the safety of our children IS urgent-but does not warrant violating basic civil rights, a conundrum I realize), So instead of bitch about it : GET ELECTED TO A POLICY EFFECTING POSITION AND FIX IT!

But it's so much easier to sit behind a monitor and type generic redneck bs. Why try to actually fix it?

sorry, just had to add my 2cents yoo no hoo

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vic 4 years, 6 months ago

Of course branding people is a bit ridiculous, but identifying a convicted child molester would be in the best interest of public safety, not against it. Why should we be more concerned about THEIR human rights over a child's? I for one am sick of criminals having more rights and protections than victims amd innocents. And certainly yes, let's all run out to get elected to a policy affecting position. Such an easy task. One thing that everyone CAN do sitting in front of their monitor is to flood the Govenor and Congressmen with letters. It worked to get the Jessisa Lunford law passed in many states. Or we could just sit back and fire insults at rednecks.

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GreyStone 4 years, 6 months ago

How do you identify the child molester that has never been convicted, never even committed a crime and might also be a trusted member of the community.

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als362 4 years, 6 months ago

To greystone; I don't think that anyone is expecting a mind reader to predict the future. But there have been ways mentioned here to help prevent known abusers and offenders from commiting these acts against other children, or women. I can't believe you even asked such a question.

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GreyStone 4 years, 6 months ago

• Acquaintance perpetrators are the most common abusers, constituting approximately 70-90% of all reported perpetrators. - Finkelhor, D. 1994

• 29% of child sexual abuse offenders are relatives, 60% are acquaintances, and only 11% are strangers. - Diana Russell, The Secret Trauma, NY:Basic Books, 1986

• 89% of child sexual assault cases involve persons known to the child, such as a caretaker or family acquaintance. - Diana Russell Survey, 1978

http://www.yellodyno.com/Statistics/statistics_child_molester.html

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daybyday 4 years, 6 months ago

People concerned with their human rights with little apparent regard to the corresponding and critically foundational concepts of moral and ethical duty and responsibility should probably read The Declaration of Human Responsibility. Fortunately, many of those who believe in protecting rights, also know that children (being also human), also have rights such as, "States parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treament, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s), or any other person who has care of the child."

As others stated here, write letters to our representatives in strong support of tougher legislation regarding crimes against children.

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skom 4 years, 6 months ago

Thank you Greystone! Let's also not forget as we talk about "branding" these perps, that some of them are children. Vic, instead of hiding w/ your camera waiting to capture an attacker making an attack, why don't you hang out in sight, so that a perp may be less likely to attack, just a thought.

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vic 4 years, 6 months ago

Because I want them to be caught, not just move on to the next block where no one is watching. You don't really think I would stand in hiding snapping pictures of an abduction, do you? Surely you realize if I am going to take the time to watch the kids every morning and afternoon that I am prepared to stop the actual abduction and would be taking pictures of any suspicious person or vehicle approaching or seemingly following a child as I am stepping out to intervene. Perhaps a little more time is needed in your thought process.

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GreyStone 4 years, 6 months ago

First priority must be EDUCATEION of the children, and take a more active role in their day to day life, because it is impossible to lock up and label all the perverts in the world.

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vic 4 years, 6 months ago

I agree, however I still feel once they are caught and convicted they should not be permitted to walk the streets again and at a minimum should be required to wear GPS bracelets. And that still does not answer my original question...why are we knowingly taking them from other towns/states after they are released from prison. Isn't that asking for trouble? Surely we already have enough of our own to keep track of.

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als362 4 years, 6 months ago

To vic about why we keep getting more: Usually when this type of activity takes place, someone, somewhere is getting thier palm greased.

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GreyStone 4 years, 6 months ago

There is a mistaken belief in rehabilitation... they do their time and are relocated, however there seems to be no cure fore most of these people.

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native_craig_guy 4 years, 6 months ago

Maybe the fact that we have Community Corrections Location like CAPS in our town is why we have all of our wonderful new additions to our fine city. If you do not want felons or criminals moving into Craig then petition to have CAPS removed from the City. Of course that will remove a few jobs as well so it would not be without a cost.

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GreyStone 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes, however when they are in the CAPS system we know where they are… what about those that are not in the system because they have not violated some kid yet. These people do not simply move into this community some are borne here.

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skom 4 years, 6 months ago

Vic, I do not assume anything about what you might do, I just go off of what you are writing. I do not mean to offend you. Banning known sex offenders from this community would not help, there are so many that go uncharged w/ anything and they live right down the street from you. Let's pretend that these unknown sex offenders do not exist and we are capable of banning them from this wonderful area known as Craig Colorado. Why wouldn't other communities ban them as well? Then maybe we will send them off to some island? Right? REALITY is that they are here and we then have to educate our children and support each other as a community. You will never get an answer to your why questions, until you understand the reality of the world that we live in. The people I fear the most are not the known/registered offenders (yes I do fear them) or the people at CAPS who are under strict rules and guidlines. It's the unknown predators out there who have not been charged, and they are out there and there are many.

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vic 4 years, 6 months ago

I realize we have plenty of our own...and likely many that we do not know of...and still cannot comprehend why our town would take in more. I know why they "relocate" them, or at least I assume it is because they are known in their own communities, so have to go someplace else for a fresh start. I would be okay with this for just about any other criminal, not a child predator. Move them to their own little island...now that might be a good idea.

As for CAPS - yes, they do have rules to follow, but no, they do not always know where their "residents" are. They know where they are supposed to be, but there is no supervision outside of their little apartment complex. They get passes to go walk around town to do shopping or whatever...they get on the bus to ride into Steamboat to work or look for work. Some may be harmless, some are not. They also come from other towns/states. I still say they should not be located in the heart of town.

Yes, many uncaught, unconvicted criminals walking around, but if we are too busy watching the ones we know about, how can we watch for the others. So much for small town living. What a mess.

And no...I am not offended...just pissed off in general. I guess at this point if the answer isn't "off with their heads", then I don't want to hear it. I have had enough of our "system" affording more rights to the criminals than the law abiding, and downright furious that a child predator is offered more protection than a child.

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native_craig_guy 4 years, 6 months ago

As far as the CAPS go we are bringing in known criminals into our town and giving them jobs in the community and allowing them to spread to their criminal brethren that there is a nice little unsuspecting community here in the middle of nowhere where they can come and live. I just am curious about what the stats are on criminals who get paroled to CAPS and who stay in Craig after they are released.

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