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RACINE – A Racine man is in custody on charges of stalking and disorderly conduct connected with a child enticement incident last month.

John L. Back, 51, was held in the Racine County Jail as of Thursday. He was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with stalking and disorderly conduct. If convicted of the stalking charge, he faces a prison sentence of 3 years and six months and/or a $10,000 fine.

According to the criminal complaint, Racine Police were dispatched to a Wright Avenue home on August 11.

Two residents told police that four children, ranging in age from 1 to 7 years old, played in the front yard under the residents’ supervision earlier that evening. The residents said a westbound Chevrolet work van slowly passed the house, turned around in the adjacent Greek Orthodox Church parking it, and returned eastbound. The driver leaned out of the van window, snapped his fingers, and spoke to the children. In a follow-up interview, the children told a police investigator that the van driver said, “Come here and see what I have in my hand.”

The residents gave police a description of the van driver and the vehicle’s license plate. Police used vehicle registration information to tie the car to Back. The residents later identified Back as the van driver based on photos provided by the Racine County Sheriff’s Office.

On August 14, a Racine Police officer located the vehicle and Back at Mound Cemetery, where he was taken into custody, and the van was impounded. According to the complaint, back denied being present in the Wright Avenue area and making statements to any juveniles.

On August 20, a Racine Police investigator received a text message from one of the Wright Avenue residents. The message contained a still image and a video, taken early that morning, showing Back’s vehicle parked approximately 1,050 to 1,100 feet from the home and the front door’s eyesight. Police noted that the car had been released from the impound lot the previous afternoon.

Back is being held at the Racine County Jail on a $10,000 bond. A compentency hearing has been set for 2 p.m. Oct. 9.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...