Suspicious character near preschool identified

A man who raised red flags for police when he was seen near a San Mateo preschool on four separate occasions has been identified and questioned but not arrested.

The man was identified after police received an anonymous call on their secret tip line, said San Mateo police Lt. Mike Brunicardi.

He said that after questioning the man, police did not deem him a threat to children, but had nonetheless turned the case over to the District Attorney’s Office for review. He said the man, whom he would not identify, could possibly be charged under child-harassment laws.

The man, described as a clean-shaven man in his 20s with black wavy hair, was seen around 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 13 just outside the gated playground area of a preschool on the 1300 block of Wayne Way.

The preschool’s staff reported the incident to police, saying they had twice before seen the same person standing in the same area, “watching the children play” and trying to talk to them. One staff member also said he’d come into the preschool months before to inquire about a job. The man was again seen walking in the neighborhood Feb. 20.

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