KEARNS — A man claiming to be a police officer sexually assaulted a girl Monday afternoon, police said.
After identifying himself as a police officer, the man offered to walk two 8-year-old girls home, said Detective Ken Hansen of the UPD.
The girls asked the man why he wasn't in uniform, and he told them it was easier for him to catch "bad guys" if he was not wearing a uniform, Hansen said.
"There are a few details that cause us a great deal of concern," Hansen said.
The mother of the girl, who did not want to be identified, believes the suspect knows the area, and she wants this guy caught.
"He told my daughter that he needed to protect her from a man that was on the side of the complex with a gun, shooting people from the outside."
After telling one girl to go home, the man threw the other girl over a fence into a field by the railroad tracks near 4985 Pieper Blvd.
"When he got her behind the building, he grabbed her," the mother said. "You can pretty much guess where it went from there."
Police say the man jumped over the fence, sexually assaulted the girl and then fled the scene. Hansen said the girl waited until she was sure he wasn't there anymore then walked home to her family.
"The stomach twisting is horrible," the mother said. "I should have been able to protect her from this. It absolutely makes me fear for any kid that, you know, thinks they can trust someone who says they're a police officer there to keep them safe."
"We have to do what we can, as much as we can, to try and stop this individual from doing this again," Hansen said. "I would be very cautious of where you let children go until we can get this finalized."
The man was described as a young adult caucasian male wearing blue pajama-style pants, with bushy brown hair and a scar on one corner of his mouth. His eyes are reportedly blue or green.
Police said the suspect may have been seen in a shiny red car with shiny wheels before making contact with the girls.
Unified Police detectives are searching for additional witnesses and information. If anyone has any information as to the man's identity or has information about this crime, they are asked to contact the Unified Police Department Tip line at 385-468-8477.