Residents being warned about suspicious van; spotted in Palm City over the weekend

Child claims man asked him for directions
Posted at 5:50 PM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-23 19:04:14-04

When Jaxson Rogan needs to stretch his legs, he goes to Jock Leighton Park in Old Palm City to run around.

“On the swings, on the slide.  Running, running free.  He’s not in the house contained," said his mom Michelle.

The Rogans live just down the block from the park.

"There’s kids everywhere.  I’m always out here gardening and there are kids up and down the street all day long every day," said Michelle, who has two other boys.

But Martin County detectives are now warning of a potentially grown up problem.  Saturday morning around 9, a young boy was riding a push scooter down 37th Street when the boy claims a man driving a black van with tinted windows stopped to ask him for directions.

“The child is 7 years of age, not someone you would be asking for directions," said Martin County Sheriff Detective Derek Brieske.

The boy didn’t respond, but the van continued to follow him from behind until the child ran into his home to tell his parents.

“With children back in school right now, parents should have a discussion with them as they’re walking to and from the school bus or walking to and from the park.  If an adult approaches under any circumstance sand they’re a stranger, you need to get away from them," said Detective Brieske.

The boy describes the driver as a white male in his 40s, balding with a chubby face.  The van is a black boxier- type van with green accents. It may be a Safari model.

Michelle Rogan says this case has her guard up but it won’t stop them from going to the park.

The family whose child was involved also lives close to the park and the Martin County Sheriff's Office says the parents wrestled with whether or not to let him go by himself before allowing him to.