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Man charged with approaching child

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Evanston police say a 37-year-old Evanston man was charged today with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident in which a young girl reported being harassed by a man on a bicycle as she walked to school.

In the incident, which was the subject of a community alert last month, a 14-year-old girl reported that she was approached by an adult male on a bicycle on April 21 in the area of Sherman Avenue and Madison Street while she was walking alone to school.

Police say the girl told them the man engaged her in a conversation, offering her $20, saying he wanted to take her to a movie and that she could keep the money if she took his phone number.

The girl said she declined the offer and attempted to catch up to other students she observed walking and the subject on the bicycle left the area.

A short time later as the juvenile was again walking alone, the subject on the bicycle reappeared and again asked her to take a piece of paper with his telephone number on it, which she took and continued walking.  

Evanston Police juvenile detectives followed up on the telephone number that was given and were able to identify a suspect who was positively identified by the juvenile victim.

At this time, detectives have been unable to link the suspect to another similar incident that was reported on April 22 in the area of Austin Street and Elmwood Avenue that was also mentioned in the community alert.

The suspect, Michael R. Clarke, 37, of 329 Custer Ave. is charged with one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct and is scheduled to appear in Skokie district court at 10:30 a.m. on June 8.

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