Man arrested for following girls

Amber Willard

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


against Ramirez.

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.