LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Calif. - A tight-knit community in Norwalk is grappling with growing concerns as a man continues to linger near New River Park, leaving parents and children anxious about their safety.
Parents have reported that he is often spotted in his vehicle after school, taking photographs and engaging in suspicious behavior.
"We’ve asked him why are you here? Why are you filming the children? And he doesn’t give a specific answer, he says it’s his right," said a parent.
The man sits daily in his vehicle with a blanket, a laptop and his phone. One 13-year-old student says he’s done a lot more than just take photos of kids.
"I’ve witnessed him masturbating to kids," she said.
She also insists the man has taken photos of her multiple times. Parents claim the man tries to get the attention of children by offering different items. One parent even captured a photo of a student who allegedly received a cigar from the man in the vehicle.
In response to the situation, Norwalk City Council member Rick Ramirez had surveillance cameras installed outside a children's recreation center at the park.
Additionally, New River Elementary placed a tarp on the school fence in an attempt to deter the man from returning to the location, but their efforts have not proven successful.
"My biggest concern is for the safety of the parents and the kids, I don’t want them taking the law into their own hands," Ramirez said.
When questioned about the accusations, the man denied any wrongdoing and chalked it up to baseless animosity. stating,
"I'm not taking pictures of kids," the man said.
"You’re not?" asked FOX 11’s Gina Silva.
"I’m not," he insisted.
He maintains his stance and compares himself to historical figures who stood up for their rights. Parents say they’ve contacted law enforcement and public safety but so far nothing has been done about it because the man has the right to film in a public place.