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Police: Man allegedly caught tickling children in Concord park

David Johnson

David Johnson

A 35-year-old Concord man was arrested Monday for allegedly tickling three children he is not related to in a small park on Perley Street.

David Johnson, 35, was released on $15,000 personal recognizance bail but is prohibited from returning to that park or any other park in the city and cannot have contact with juveniles unrelated to him, said Lt. Timothy O’Malley of the Concord Police Department. The arrest stemmed from an April 17 incident, when he allegedly tickled a 3-, 5- and 7-year-old.

The park is a small piece of fenced-in land with a jungle gym and two picnic tables near the corner of Perley and South streets that is owned by a landlord who rents out several properties in the area. The woman who reported the incident said she was playing outside with her three children, ages 5, 7 and 9, and her nephew, age 3, about 6 that evening. She went inside to go the bathroom, and her 9-year-old came inside soon after and said a man was in the park trying to tickle the children. He had not been in the park when she went inside, she said.

The mother said she went outside and saw Johnson, who lives down the street, sitting at one of the picnic tables. His own two children were sitting on the sidewalk outside of the fenced in area, she said. When she told him to leave, he began tickling the 5-year-old. The woman’s brother came outside and they both began yelling at Johnson until he finally left. Another neighbor who heard the yelling called the police, she said.

The police investigated the matter and obtained an arrest warrant for Johnson on Monday, O’Malley said. The tickling allegedly included lifting up the children’s shirts and touching their bellies. Johnson lives right down the street, but the mother said she had never seen him in the park area before.

“It was quite a stir in this park, so I think it (is) important for the neighborhood to know what’s going on down there,” O’Malley said.

Johnson will be arraigned May 20 in Concord’s district court. Anyone with more information is encouraged to contact the Concord Police Department.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or
kronayne@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @kronayne.)

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