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Neighbors angered by lack of information from police take charge

By Michelle San Miguel, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau/Telemundo Anchor, michelle.sanmiguel@krdo.com
Published On: May 22 2013 11:48:40 PM CDT

Neighbors angered by lack of information from police take charge

PUEBLO, Colo. -

Neighbors on Pueblo's eastside are upset that three sex-related crimes have happened in the area and police didn't warn them that a sexual predator, or predators, is on the loose.

Every afternoon, members of the American Indian Movement are patrolling Pueblo's eastside, keeping an eye on children and letting neighbors know at least one predator has been lurking near Mitchell Park.

"Nobody was notified that these people were out there in the community so close to a park and a school and nobody wanted to tell anybody that these guys were out there," said Patrice Morris, who lives across from the park.

Last Friday, Morris' son was almost abducted from his backyard. She says a man pulled up in a white car and told her son to get in.

"[The man said] he has toys in his car that he could go to his house and play with all weekend long and he didn't have to tell me where he was going," Morris recalls. "My son knows better. For four years old that's pretty amazing."

Morris says officers arrived about an hour and a half after it happened. Police said had the child been abducted, they would have been there sooner.

"Officers were already at their calls so there wasn't any extra, available officers to send to those calls," Sgt. Eric Gonzales said.

Neighbors didn't find out what had happened until hours later. "If they're too busy, then we'll neighborhood watch it," said Sue Doyle, who lives across from the park.

Police told KRDO the department is going to change its policy informing the public about sexual predators.

Gonzales said, "I think we can put something out immediately from now on- whatever we can do. Anything we can get out is always better than nothing."

The police department said in the future officers will alert the public about sexual predators on its Facebook page and notify the media.

In the meantime, the American Indian Movement says it plans on watching over Pueblo's eastside, making sure children are safe.

"We're gonna be here all summer," said Matrina Arellano of the American Indian Movement.

The group is also collecting signatures for a citizens' review board of the police department.

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