Westerville News & Public Opinion

Police: Girls' report was false, may lead to charges

Through further investigation, the report of a suspicious man approaching a group of girls in a local park Friday, Nov. 9, has been determined to be false, Genoa Township police said.

The group of middle school girls fabricated the story to avoid getting in trouble for what they called "ding dong ditching," or ringing doorbells, then running away, police said.

The girls previously told police they were playing in a park located at the corner of Willow Bend Lane and Lynbrook Way between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. Nov. 9 when they were approached by the suspicious man. They said he asked them what their ages were and where they lived, then when they ran away, followed them in his car and cursed at them.

The park is within an Olentangy Local School District neighborhood in Genoa Township.

Genoa police issued a news release warning residents of the reported incident and urging parents to speak with their children about how to handle themselves with strangers.

On Nov. 14, Genoa police issued a new release, saying the original report was false.

The middle school girls now may face legal trouble.

"Due to the serious nature of the allegations, the case will be forwarded to the Delaware County Juvenile Prosecutors Office for review of charges," the Nov. 14 release from Genoa Township said.