Bozeman police are looking into a disturbing situation after they say a man exposed himself to a young girl who was on her way to class.
It’s an incident that both law enforcement and schools take very seriously.
Bozeman City Police are still looking into what exactly might have happened, but what the report does say: a 12-year-old girl was just a few blocks away from her school when a man driving a grey pickup truck pulled up and inappropriately exposed himself to her.
“You never know when one of these type of incidents is going to pop up,” says Hal Richardson, school resource sergeant for the Bozeman School District.
It happened Monday morning at the intersection of Durston Road and 19th Avenue.
The girl was on her way to Emily Dickinson Elementary School.
“It could be the worst thing that that person has ever been through, and it most likely is up until that point,” Richardson says.
He adds while officers investigate, what happened is an example of an unfortunate truth.
“It’s always a good reminder of the Stranger Danger, to have those conversations with your kids and can’t just be the school that’s having the conversation with the kids,” Richardson says. “Parents need to take a role in this, as well.”
While this did not happen on school property, Richardson says something like this could have long-lasting damage for anyone that’s young to see something like this.
He does say the school has help that could be right down the hall.
“In fact, it is that easy,” Richardson says. “All you have to do is say ‘I need to go talk to the safety person’ and that’s it.”
He says talking with a school counselor can go a long way to help kids prepare — or cope — with the worst, but the conversation should start at home.
“It really comes down to having conversations,” Richardson says. “The dinner table at night is a perfect place to have conversations with your kids about these type of things. That’s more powerful than maybe a stranger or a police officer they don’t know telling them about it.”
Bozeman City Police describe the man to have been driving a grey Dodge pickup with white trim and possibly having a mustache.
If you have any information that could help them track him down or help the investigation, you’re asked to call police immediately.