CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Parents at a South Side elementary school are tired of what they call a neighborhood nuisance, a man who they say harasses students and parents at the school.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, Mireles Elementary has a significantly smaller parent-volunteer presence outside the school at arrival and dismissal times than in previous school years. Parents say issues started when kids returned to campus last fall.
“We’re having enough issues with COVID this year and sending our children to school, and now we have a predator,” said Mireles parent Caitlyn Chance.
“People see him every day doing erratic things,” added Allison Fosnaugh.
While parents say they’ve called 911, there is little police can do.
“Mental illness, in itself, is not a crime,” said CCPD spokesman Lt. Michael Pena. “We’ll try to get them the help they need.”
Fosnaugh, like Chance, has children at Mireles. She said she’s seen this erratic behavior firsthand.
“One time I was dropping off my kids in the morning and I actually saw him make it all the way to the flagpole,” said Fosnaugh. “He had a plate of food he was trying to bring.”
Pictures on social media show the man near the school and talking to children. He lives a few houses away on Fox Drive.
His backyard has no fence, and at one time a pornographic website’s was name spray painted on the back of house.
As of Thursday afternoon, drug paraphernalia can be seen sitting out in the open. Fosnaugh believes the man is mentally ill.
“When we call the police they come out, but he’s not breaking the law when they’re physically there so they can’t arrest him,” he said.
If indeed mentally ill, Fosnaugh would like to see the man get help. However, she and other parents aren’t waiting patiently. They’re now gathering outside the school in the morning and afternoon, trying to bring attention to their situation.
“If it takes every day for the rest of the year, we’re going to do that,” Chance said. “That’s our best defense against this man.”
The Corpus Christi Independent School District has taken notice as well.
The district's police chief Kirby Warnke said officers have been posted both at the corner of Fox and Bison Drives, as well as in front of the man’s backyard on Cimarron Boulevard at arrival and dismissal, and will be until at least Spring Break.