A man suspected of following girls to school three times in the past
week was being held Tuesday night on $100,000 bail.
Gabriel Ramirez, 23, was arrested Monday morning near Luther
Burbank Middle School, 3700 Jeffries Ave., in his car as he followed
a female student. He is charged with one count of child annoyance for
Monday’s incident, but police are investigating two similar reports
near the school from last week and additional charges could be filed
Following last week’s reports, police set up four marked patrol
cars around the school Monday and one of the officers saw the North
Hollywood man trailing behind a girl about 7:45 a.m., authorities
said. Officers routinely patrol each school every morning and
afternoon, Sgt. John Calicchio said.
“We don’t want to wait until an abduction occurs to make an
arrest,” Calicchio said of Monday’s incident. “He had no business
being in the area.”
Ramirez did not contact any of the victims, police said, adding
that child annoyance cases to not have to be overtly sexual in order
for an arrest to be made.
Although school officials did not send home notices of the arrest,
police warn students to pay attention to their surroundings when they
walk to and from school.
“Most important, they have to be aware of any cars following them.
Look for anything unusual,” Calicchio said. “But don’t confront them.
Run the other way and notify an adult you trust to call us right
Police also recommend that if children can’t walk to school with
an adult, they should walk with other students as a group.
If convicted of the charge against him, Ramirez could be sentenced
to up to a year in jail and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
Anyone with information about these incidents or other similar
ones should call Calicchio at 238-3242.