SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Sioux Falls man is behind bars – accused of trying to lure a child into his car. And, according to court documents, it happened right in front of the child’s mother.
Police arrested 67-year-old Jackie Lee Harms yesterday afternoon in North Central Sioux Falls. He was arrested on a charge of enticing away a child — which is a misdemeanor.
Court papers say back in August, a family was walking from Cherry Rock Park in Sioux Falls when they noticed a car following them.
“As they were walking home from the park, they saw this car, essentially leapfrogging. So it would pull ahead of them stop as the group walked past, he would then drive forward again, stop and wait for the group to pass him again. This happened several times until eventually he stopped,” Sam Clemens, Public Information Officer said.
The family told officers they had seen this same man earlier at a gas station.
“Being at the gas station was really pivotal because that was where we were able to get surveillance video of the vehicle, get details from that and the suspect as well. And so that was a big key component into this investigation,” Clemens said.
Because Harms is being charged with a misdemeanor, authorities are not required to give out his booking photo so we cannot show you what he looks like.
Harms is described as an older white man, weighing close to 300 pounds, driving a white smart car.
Clemens says there was no connection between Harms and the alleged victim.
“These types of incidents where people are approaching kids, they are extremely rare in Sioux Falls, they do happen…when you hear about stuff like this. I’d say it’s probably going down the line of you know, every parent’s worst nightmare is to have a stranger get hold of their kid,” Clemens said.
Documents say Harms denied he was stalking the family or the teenager. Rather, Harms says he was trying to find a place to eat his Taco Bell.
Harms has no criminal history in South Dakota.