BERWICK, Maine — Police have arrested a man suspected of approaching two school children and offering them candy as they waited for the bus.
Kevin J. Weeden, 23, was arrested from a home on Hubbard Road. He was charged with failure to register as a sex offender, solicitation of a child to commit a prohibited act and and prohibited contact with a minor by being in a sex-offender-restricted zone. He was transported to the York County Jail and is being held on $25,000 cash bail.
Authorities claim Weeden approached two fifth-grade students separately early Tuesday morning. Police responded to the Knowlton School at 8:45 a.m. for a suspicious persons report and began an investigation.
Police claim Weeden approached the first fifth-grader at 8:10 a.m. on Route 236 near Cedar Lane. Police say Weeden approached the second student at 8:20 a.m. at the bus turn-around area at the Knowlton School.
Police claim Weeden was behind the wheel of a red car when spoke with both students and offered them candy. Both incidents ended when the children refused the candy and the suspect drove off.
The incidents prompted the school district and the police department to issue alerts as they continued their search for the suspect.
MSAD 60 Superintendent Steve Connolly issued a safety concern letter and the Berwick Police Department sent out an automated phone.
Connolly wrote, “The man spoke to the students and offered them candy. Both students responded ‘no’ and the man drove off. Both children immediately reported the information to an adult and did a great job. Knowlton school duty staff provided important information to local police.”
Officer Milton Fogg of the Berwick Police Department spoke with the students and he and Capt. Jerry Locke worked closely with school staff to gather information and keep everyone informed.
The letter described the man in the car as a clean-shaven white male, with a slim build, wearing a black T-shirt or jacket and dark pants. He was driving a “newer” red four-door Hyundai with unknown plates or temporary tags.
“This would be a prudent time to remind children of safety rules, especially those related to not talking to or going with strangers, and reporting to an adult if at any time they are approached by a stranger,” Connolly wrote. “All district staff, including the bus drivers, have been notified of these events and will continue to be vigilant.”
Distributed by MCT Information Services