By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — MARBLEHEAD — Police say a 13-year-old girl who was walking home from basketball practice at Veterans Middle School on Thursday evening was followed by a man who yelled at her, “Don’t even think about running from me.”
The incident occurred at about 7:15 p.m. near Pleasant and Gerry streets, according to an incident report by Officer Eric Osattin. The girl told police she had left practice and was walking down the stairs of the middle school when she saw a man walking on the sidewalk along Pleasant Street, toward downtown on the school side of the street.
When the girl approached the crosswalk, the man turned around and began walking toward her, telling her to come to him. Then he crossed the street just behind her.
The man, who was dressed in all black, including a black baseball cap with no logo, yelled to the girl, “Where do you think you are going?”
The girl ran away up Gerry Street, at which point the man yelled, “Don’t even think about running from me,” and continued following her.
When the man crested on the hill on Gerry Street, in view of the police station, he stopped, turned around and left the area, police said.
The girl ran home.
“Her father stated that she seemed very upset when she got home,” wrote Osattin. “It took him a while to calm her down and get the story.”
Once he did, he brought her to the police station, where she informed officers of the incident at about 8 p.m. In addition to wearing all black, baggy clothing, she said the man was white, about 5-feet-10, in his 30s, and donned a neck warmer or scarf so that his mouth was covered.
“She told me that she might be able to recognize the man, but it would be difficult since she could see so little,” wrote Osattin. “She told me that she would recognize his voice.”
Police searched the area and checked local restaurants and bars for the suspect but were unable to locate him.
In the incident log, police report finding a man who fit the description of the suspect at Pleasant and Washington streets, but determined he wasn’t suspicious.
“Male checks out,” wrote police.