Police act after women post threats on stalker

2014-02-22 00:00

A MAN who has allegedly stalked female joggers and schoolgirls on Westville streets has been found and given “a firm warning” by police — who fear that outraged female residents might beat the man up.

Recently, reports surfaced on social media about a red-haired man who drove around Westville making unwanted advances to women pedestrians and urging them to get into his car.

Numerous posts on Facebook — particularly on the Brad Nathanson Investigations page — which appeared to describe the same man, were posted by Westville residents.

One resident, Vanessa Petermann, wrote: “I hope I meet this fool. Not only will I pepper spray the living s*** out of him, I will klap him silly as well”, and Nadia Chaikin declared: “I’d love to meet him, I’ve been dying to try out my Tazer on someone”.

Schools in Westville were making their pupils aware of the incidents and heightening security at their premises. A spokesperson for Westville Girls’ High School said they had warned pupils to be vigilant and had also increased security around the grounds.

Tammy Dennil, chairperson of the Westville Athletics Club, said they had also posted warnings.

“We warned women not to run alone or ever get in a car with anyone they do not know,” she said.

Sergeant Stephen Clark, the Westville SAPS communications officer, said he had personally investigated the incident, and found that the man had been driving around Westville, approaching runners and telling them to “get in his car”.

Clark said he had discovered who the suspect was and where he lived, and that he had confronted him.

“We could not arrest the man as there has been no crime committed. This is not, however, a case of the police standing by idly, waiting for something to happen. We have been active in seeking out the suspect and giving him a firm verbal warning that he will be arrested if he were to cause anyone discomfort,” he said.

Clark said they did not know why the man was approaching women in this manner, but there “was no physical threat”.

He said the police feared the incidents could spark vigilantism.

“What we don’t want is for members of the community to take it upon themselves to do something about the situation, because there is no threat and the police have the situation under control.”

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