MANHATTAN BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Authorities Saturday continued to investigate the attacks of two boys in restrooms at public parks in the South Bay.
The first incident was reported at Valley Park in Hermosa Beach on Wednesday and involved a 13-year-old male victim.
The second happened about 2 p.m. Friday at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach — just two miles away.
Authorities say it was there that a young boy of about 4 had entered a restroom and was approached by an unknown man, who then allegedly forced the child into a stall and fondled him.
The boy fled and told a parent what happened.
CBS2’s Joy Benedict reports that police are looking into the possibility that the attacks are linked to the same suspect, who was described as a white male in his 40s (or possible 30s) with a medium build.
Picking up the story Saturday evening, CBS2’s Stacey Butler said the suspect’s description now also includes the fact the man has gray hair, and was wearing a white T-shirt and dark-colored pants when last seen.
Butler spoke to parents who admitted they were unnerved by the molestations.
“All of my friends were upset and shocked, now we just have to be a lot more careful around here,” said Beatrice Zimbalist. “When you’d think you could just send your kid in for a quick bathroom run, now you have to go with them.”
“It’s kind of scary,” said one father, “especially in a community like this. But I never leave my kids alone.”
Parent Anthony Richardson agreed. “I think it’s unfortunate you have to get extra security to monitor your own child at a neighborhood park, but obviously we’re living in different times and you have to be more vigilant.”
Anyone with information on the crimes was asked to contact Manhattan Beach police Detective Traci Navarrette at (310) 802-5125.