Stories of suspicious men watching, approaching and even chasing children in Winnipeg have police warning the public.
The first incident happened Wednesday in the 500 block of Nova Vista Drive, in the city's St. Vital neighbourhood.
The owner of a home-based daycare said the children were in the backyard when a man came to the fence and said he wanted to “keep the children company," according to police.
Daycare owner Jackie Mighty said she was caring for four children between two and three years old, when the man leaned over the fence.
"And he said, he need[ed] the kids, and the kids need him. And he said the f-word, you know? 'Just shut up and give me the kids because they need me. Look how much they're precious,'" Mighty said.
That’s when Mighty called for help, and a man working on a roof two doors down heard her.
Jeremy Delisle lept about three metres off of a roof and ran to the backyard.
“I never see a young man scale the roof top and reach so fast,” Mighty said. “He opened my back gate and ask, ‘What are you doing here?’”
Delisle said he was worried about the kids.
“My mom has owned a daycare my whole life, so I’ve always had a connection with kids and somebody doing something like that — talking to a kid in an inappropriate way — it was definitely wrong,” he said. “I had to step in and say something.”
Delisle was able to scare the man off, but within 10 minutes he returned, according to Mighty. She rushed the kids inside, and Delisle was able to convince the man to leave a second time.
Mighty said she thought the man might be mentally ill.
“He’s in good clothes, you know,” she said. “Wearing a gold watch, married band. I think he’s just mentally ill.”
Police searched the area but the man was not located.
Const. Eric Hofley said police don’t always advise bystanders to get involved in hostile situations, and Belisle was lucky the confrontation didn’t escalate.
“It appears to be verbal, and this good samaritin was able to de-escalate the situation,” said Hofley.
Officers are now trying to find the man. He is described as being 60-70 years old with a medium build and short grey hair and glasses. He was wearing a grey T-shirt, khaki shorts, grey socks, runners, a watch and a ring.
Mighty said she isn’t too worried about him returning.
“I’m not scared because I was out here with the kids yesterday — all day yesterday,” she said. “I think this gentleman needs help.”
Watching kids at school
A second incident happened shortly before noon on Thursday.
A man wearing a balaclava was lingering across the street and watching students at a school in the 800 block of Golspie Street, in the city's East Kildonan area.
The man, who ran off, did not say anything and the children were not approached, police said.
The male is described as wearing a black balaclava with blonde shoulder length hair sticking out the bottom. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt or jacket, black pants and runners.
Man chases 4 kids
The third incident also happened Thursday, later in the afternoon.
According to police, four children — three girls between the ages of nine and 10 — were in the area of Beeston Drive and Seaforth Avenue, in the West Kildonan area, when a man who was standing in the street began running after them.
As they were running, they came across a friend, a nine-year-old boy, and told him what had just happened.
As they were talking, the man appeared and began to chase all four of them, police said, noting he never spoke to the children and had never been seen by them before.
The kids safely reached one of the homes, where the parents were told and police were called.
The man is described as being possibly tanned, in his early 20s with average height and a small build. He had long black hair and a dark beard, was wearing a blue long-sleeved shirt, light coloured pants and was carrying a white backpack.