Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Child Snatching Alarms Schools Teachers, Police, Parents on High Alert after Recent Assault

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Child Snatching Alarms Schools Teachers, Police, Parents on High Alert after Recent Assault

Article excerpt

It was about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday when St. Theresa School Principal Nancy Mills learned of the abduction and sexual assault of a child Tuesday evening near her school, and it didn't take her long to develop a "game plan" for the day. Mills called a police liaison officer, called a staff meeting and even called the parent of the only child who walks to the pre-K through eighth-grade school located about a quarter-mile from where the child was lured into a car and molested.

"I called that mother and asked if she could drive that student to school (Wednesday)," said Mills. "These are our kids; so safety is No. 1."

Also Wednesday morning, Evansville Police Department charged Jack Perkins III, 26, of 232 W. Florida St., with two counts of child molesting and one count of criminal confinement in connection with the incident. He is being held without bail in the Vanderburgh County Jail.

Perkins is to make an initial court appearance today in the case in which police department spokesman Sgt. Jason Cullum said was "very rare for Evansville."

"We're not happy with this case by any means," Cullum said at a news conference Wednesday, "but we are glad that we were able to take this person off the streets within 24 hours of this crime occurring."

The incident occurred about 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to police, when two children were walking in an alley near Maxwell Avenue and Elliott Street - about three blocks east of Garvin Park - before one of them was lured into the suspect's car. That child eventually escaped, but not before being sexually assaulted, police said.

"This appears to be a completely random event," Cullum said. The suspect was described as a light-skinned black male with black hair and a beard, driving a maroon, four-door vehicle with a tan or brown interior and tinted windows.

Thanks to local media and tips, police found Perkins about 10:30 a. …

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