KENOSHA -- A Kenosha woman warned others about a potential sex trafficking threat after she was approached by a troubling man at a nearby beach.
Authorities say the I-94 corridor between Milwaukee and Chicago is becoming more of a target for human trafficking, because it leads to a lot of destinations. This comes as some young women in Kenosha are reporting some scary situations.
Haley Oscar says she was laying on the beach near the Kenosha lighthouse reading a book when she was confronted by a stranger, who sat down next to her and began asking bizarre questions.
“About my credit score, where I live, if I’m financially secure and have people who love me,” she said. “He asked why I was alone and how far away I live. Then things got more inappropriate, and he started asking me sexual questions and commented that since I have tattoos, I must like pain. I just kept telling him that I was studying, and to please leave me alone. At one point I told him I was uncomfortable, but he just continued to sit right next to me.”
After 40 minutes of this, she texted some of her friends to come help her. When they called to tell her they were on their way, the man left.
“That freaked him out, and he was gone after that,” she said.
She posted a warning on Facebook, detailing what happened to her. It’s been shared more than 8,000 times. One of the people who reached out to her after seeing the post was a mom from Kenosha whose teenage daughters were recently followed home from a nearby restaurant by two men.
“They pulled aside to let the men in the truck pass, but the truck stopped right next to them. The driver got out and knocked on the driver-side window, and asked them to get out of the car because he had a question for him. Then the passenger in the truck got out wearing a mask, and carrying a sledgehammer. My girls sped off, and the men chased them through a subdivision,” said the mother, who did not want to reveal her identity.
Luckily, the girls got away or the men gave up. But police confirm that just hours later, those same men abducted and sexually assaulted a Milwaukee woman, then dropped her off on the side of the road in Mt. Pleasant. Those men were eventually arrested in Kentucky.
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“It’s scary because this is where we live,” she said. “I feel awful that a woman got hurt. It’s terrifying to think my daughters could have also been hurt. You don’t think it can happen so close to home.”
“Just be aware,” Oscar adds. “Be protective of yourself, and don’t do what I did and call friends. Instead, make sure you call 911 if you’re uncomfortable.”
The mayor of Kenosha tells TODAY’S TMJ4 that Kenosha police are increasing patrols in the area near the lighthouse, where Oscar says she was confronted.
A detective who specializes in sex trade investigations with the Kenosha County Sheriff has also been in touch with Oscar. She did not get the suspect’s name, but she says he told her that he lives in Waukegan, Illinois. He is described as a middle-aged Hispanic man.