In the quiet Moundsville neighborhood of Maxwell Acres there are always tons of children outside riding bikes and playing with friends.
“We’ve been hearing like I said that there was somebody around the neighborhood driving around in a white van stopping and talking to a lot of kids that nobody knows who he is,” said Duane Miller, resident in Maxwell Acres.
Parents in the neighborhood became suspicious of the man, and they joined together to protect their children. One parent saw him come onto their street and talk to a young child, and when she approached him, he took off.
“Moundsville was able to locate them with the callers help, the caller was giving out locations. She was a parent and actually affected with this, she provided a location where they were stopped,” said Deputy Sheriff Douglas Seyman of Marshall County.
The parent lead police directly to David Dempsey, 69, of Bridgeport, who was arrested and charged with three counts of stalking and one for obstructing a police officer.
“I’m just thankful to the person who actually saw him talking to the child and intervened because something really bad could have happened,” Miller said.
“There people are out there, we have to protect our children at all costs and fortunately this worked out well the parents actually followed him and we were able to stop him and identify him,” Seyman said.
Tonight the families in Maxwell Acres will sleep a little easier knowing that Dempsey is behind bars and their kids are safe.
“It makes you feel very uneasy and stuff because you’ve got young kids playing outside all the time and you can’t be with them 24/7, and we do have good neighbors that kind of watch out for our kids, and we care for our community,” Miller said.
Dempsey remains behind bars in the Northern Regional jail awaiting arraignment. A stern warning from police to keep an eye on your children and if you ever see anything suspicious contact law enforcement immediately.