Police in central Iowa are still looking for the break that helps them capture a man who has sexually assaulted, and attempted to assault, several young girls. The first attempted assault happened in Dallas Center on June 9th and there have been at least eight other cases in Panora, Des Moines and Urbandale.
At least three of the girls were assaulted, but the rest got away. The latest case happened in an Urbandale park Wednesday, and Sergeant Dave Disney says it looks to be related to the others. The car description was similar to the other cases, a newer black Toyota Avalon. Disney says the girls thought the man looked like the composite sketch released earlier. He says there was not physical or verbal contact in this case.
State officials joined with local officers to release the composite sketch and to ask for the public’s help. Disney says so far that hasn’t led to any arrests. Disney says they’ve gotten a lot of calls, and most of them are from someone who says they have an ex husband or boyfriend that looks like the composite picture, but no concrete leads.
Disney says they really need people to be alert and looking for information that can help, such as a license plate number. Disney says that piece of information is critical, as they aren’t getting calls on the assaults quick enough. Disney says he is not critical of the girl’s reaction in the latest case to run away, they ran past some public works employees and didn’t call on their cellphones to report the incident immediately.
Disney says if they get a call, they can quickly converge on the area. Disney says it’s important for parents who haven’t already talked with their children about the danger of strangers, that they do so. He says parents need to sit down and talk about the scenarios of what the child should do with strangers in this situation and let them work through in their own mind the smart things to do. You can see the composite sketch of the suspect in the Urbandale cases on-line at the Department of Public Safety website .