EULESS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – At Euless’ Bob Eden Park, the happy buzz of summer is in full swing.
But police are urging visitors to play and exercise with caution after four women reported being touched inappropriately at the park near Mid-Cities and North Industrial.
All of the incidents were reported in the past couple of weeks. The warning has parents reinforcing safety rules– even when the danger isn’t readily apparent.
“They just tell us that we need to stay together and always make sure that you had eyes on everyone; especially if you’re the older one,” says 16-year-old Jaqueline Gamborino, while playing at the park with her mom, younger siblings and cousins. “Stay together and when someone else wants to go to the bathroom or play someplace else, the buddy system, of course.”
Joe Smallwood says he taught his kids to play tennis on the same court that he still uses to stay fit… and he was cautious even then.
“I would not let them go back on the trails,” says Smallwood who says he’s lived in the area some 30 years. “A lot of areas where there’s a lot of cover and places back there where it’s away from homes and isolated, so I wouldn’t be comfortable with a woman or children back there alone.”
Last month, a neighbor shared a warning on the NextDoor social media app that a man had exposed himself on the wooded trail. Now, Smallwood says he’s glad that police are spreading the word about these more recent incidents.
“Everybody needs to be aware that there are issues… whatever they are,” says Smallwood– and then with a deep, troubled breath, adding, “We live in a sick world, it’s sad.”
According to Euless Police, the suspect is described as a white man, 25-35 years of age, approximately 6’0″ with a slender build, very short black hair and a medium growth beard. He was wearing long-sleeved hoodies and construction boots and was spotted driving a newer model white pickup truck.
Police are asking anyone who uses the park to stay aware of surroundings and when available, walk with a friend during daylight hours.
When listening to music, police suggest leaving one headphone off or placing volume low enough to hear someone walk up on you.
If you spot someone fitting the description of the suspect, police are asking that you call 911 immediately, and not wait until you get home.
If you can, get a license plate number for dispatchers. Anyone with information can reach out to Sr. Crpl. Meador at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Park visitors seem to agree that the area is a wonderful space– but, they also know they can’t take safety for granted, even in a place that seems safe.
“You have to be careful everywhere,” says Gamborino.