Teens warn of suspicious vehicles in Decatur Township


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WISH) – A Decatur Township mom is warning other parents to be on the lookout for potential child predators after she said her daughter and a friend were cornered on a school playground.

The family said this happened at a playground on the city’s southwest side Tuesday night. 

“I thought we were going to die honestly,” said 16-year-old Kaitlin Cripe.  

Kaitlin Cripe vividly remembers the moment she calls the scariest of her life.

It all started Tuesday night around 7:00 p.m

Kaitlin and her best friend Lindsay were taking pictures on the playground at Liberty Early Elementary School off the 4600 block of Sante Fe Road. That’s when Kaitlin says a brown truck pulled up next to them.

“He rolls down his window and looks at us for like a couple of seconds, and then he parks like close to the school and we see him pull out his phone,” said Kaitlin Cripe. 

The girlssaid they got spooked and started to walk away, but Kaitlin said the truck followed them.

That’s when the girls said a black car pulled to the front of the school and blocked their path out.

“That was terrifying, because like after that black car just pulled up, that’s when it hit me like ‘this could go wrong in like literally any second,'” said Lindsay Lucas.  

“We’re like if we pass them, they can literally like, corner us,” said Kaitlin Cripe. 

The girls, thinking the two cars were working together, called for help and made as much racket as they could.

“I think we scared them off, because we were like ‘we’re calling 911! we’re caling 911!'” said Cripe.  

The two vehicles disappeared.

The girls said police eventually showed up and escorted the two girls safely home.

After hearing about the incident, Kaitlin’s mom, Melinda, took to Facebook to warn other parents.

“I wanted to get the message out and the awareness out because the weather is getting better out to where teenagers are going to be out. So I wanted to get it out there, children be aware. Teens tell your parents where you’re going,” said Melinda Cripe. 

A scary situation that could have ended differently. 

“It’s very scary to know if your child was being abducted or was going to be abducted or taken, I could have came home last night and had no daughter at home. It’s very very scary,” said Melinda Cripe.  

Decatur Township School District’s Assistant Superintendent said he is getting the district’s school resource officers involved to check out the situation and help keep kids safe. 

WISH-TV did reach out to IMPD to independently verfify this incident, but police reports were unavailable.

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