TIGARD, Ore. (KOIN) — Amy Fiederowicz said her 13-year-old daughter and her daughter’s friend were enjoying their Saturday afternoon when a man came up behind them and began following them on a bicycle.
They “were walking on Tigard’s Main Street, minding their own business being typical girls,” Fiederowicz told KOIN 6 News. The man — later identified as 27-year-old Deshon Pratt — told them they were pretty and asked if they wanted to buy some marijuana.
“He started catcalling, started asking them if they wanted drugs, offering drugs, then at one point brushed up against my daughter’s friend,” she said.
Pratt followed the teens for 10 or 15 minutes, Tigard police said. Then the girls made the smart and brave choice to get help.
“The girls were smart. They didn’t acknowledge the gentleman. They kept walking away, and when they started feeling even more threatened they ran to a store, went inside and called the police,” she said.
“The guy had gone around the corner. He said something to the girls about calling for help,” she said.
The police arrived at the store in the 11900 block of SW Pacific Highway, and “just after the police arrived he decided to come back and said something to the girls in police presence. So they got him right on the scene.”
Fiederowicz is thankful the girls are safe and hopes the ordeal will serve as a reminder to parents to talk to your children about how to handle similar situations.
Tigard police said to teach your kids to be alert and aware in public to identify potential dangers, try to avoid distractions such as texting, to trust your intuition and act on it, to be assertive and say “no,” that it’s OK to be rude to avoid an uncomfortable situation.
“We’ve worked really hard with my daughter, especially, to acknowledge when there’s any odd situation, if she’s uncomfortable at all for any reason to go to a place of safety and make a phone call,” Fiederowicz said. “I’d rather have her make a phone call and not have it be a real situation than have something happen.”
Pratt has a Texas driver’s license and police believe he’s transient. He’s being charged with stalking, harassment and 3rd-degree sex abuse.