published Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Photographer at Signal Mountain little league games draws attention

Repeated sightings of a man in his 50s taking photographs of children at Signal Mountain Little League games and practices has drawn police attention.

Justin Sveadas, parent and commissioner of the 4-5-6 year-old league, said Wednesday he'd heard reports of the man attending practices and later games at the Timberlinks Drive ball field over the last two weeks.

During a Monday night game he confronted the man, asking him if he had a child or family member at the game. Sveadas said the man told him he did not, acted defensively and was reluctant to give his name.

"It's a bizarre situation that a grown man with no children would be taking pictures," Sveadas said.

Parents of players have messaged each other since the Monday game, concerned about the man's behavior, Sveadas said.

Interim Signal Mountain Police Chief Scott Ogrodowczyk said that he'd been contacted by the parks and recreation department about the parents' concerns.

He's distributed a photograph of the man Sveadas talked with to his officers and will have patrols present during games.

He's asked residents to contact police if they see anything suspicious.

"If they have a concern or a suspicion we can check it out," Ogrodowczyk said.

There isn't anything criminal about taking photographs but if the man is determined to be harassing people or a nuisance there are procedures to ensure he would not trespass on city property, he said.

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