HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KWCH) The Hutchinson Police Department wants to warn the public about people who are falsely identifying themselves as park security and police in parks around the city -- then sexually assaulting citizens.
Police say the suspects approach parked vehicles in the park, identify themselves as park security or police, and then ask those in their vehicles to get out. Once outside of the vehicle, the victims report being sexually assaulted.
The cases are currently under investigation.
Police say the City of Hutchinson does not employ any sort of Park Security. The only law enforcement that actively patrols parks around the city are commissioned law enforcement that includes the Hutchinson PD, Reno County Sheriff's Office and the Kansas Highway Patrol.
If you are contacted by someone in a city park claiming to be a police officer or park security and there is any doubt about their identity, police say you should lock the doors and roll up all windows, ask the officer for their name and to present an official badge.
If there is still doubt during the contact, tell the police officer that you are calling 911 to verify his identity.
If the person identifying themselves as a police officer tries to stop you from calling 911, drive immediately to the Law Enforcement Center located at 210 West 1st, Hutchinson and remain on the line with the 911.
If you question the identity of the person identifying himself as an officer and he immediately leaves the scene, call 911 and report the incident immediately.
All of the Hutchinson parks, other than the Jim P. Martinez Sunflower Trail, are closed to the public between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. Police ask that you not be in the park after hours.
The Jim Martinez Sunflower Trail is open to the public one-half hour before sunrise and closed one-half hour after sunset.
Anyone who has had encounters with people identifying himself as park security or has had encounters with someone they believe falsely identified himself as a Police Officer, please contact Detective Schoenhoff at 620-694-2830 or Reno County Crime Stoppers 620-694-2666.