More charges for child kidnapping suspect
SAN MATEO, Calif. (KGO) -- Prosecutors in San Mateo have linked the suspect in the child molestation case at Parkside Elementary School to another incident at a school in Daly City. Those new charges were added Tuesday during 25-year-old Bradley Mrozek's arraignment at the Redwood City courthouse. He was charged with four felonies and 14 misdemeanors. Among the charges were kidnapping, burglary, child molestation, and attempted possession of child porn.
In March, a teacher found an intruder at Washington Elementary School in Daly City. Four girls told her they thought they heard someone taking pictures while they were in the girls' restroom. "They heard the clicking of, they thought, a camera and went and told a teacher. That teacher went in there, saw that there was someone hiding in the stall and ordered that person to come out then," said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. Wagstaffe says there was silence. The teacher yelled again. "Suddenly, the door flew open and the person went running by and ran out of the school," Wagstaffe said. But the teacher got a good look at him.
Then on September 21, police say Mrozek offered vodka and made lewd remarks to two girls near Stem Academy. He was also kicked off campus at Horral Elementary School on the same morning. Later that day, Mrozek groped a 9-year-old girl in the bathroom at Parkside Elementary School then tried to carry her away, but police say she fought her abductor, kicking him and running back to school. The girl later identified Mrozek after police arrested him when they found him loitering in the neighborhood.
All the publicity generated by this case prompted the teacher at Washington Elementary School to call police, telling them that this could be the same intruder he saw. "The police did their investigation, showed her a set of photos one of which the defendant was in and she said, 'That's the guy,'" Wagstaffe said. Since the incident at Parkside Elementary, school authorities have extended a fence which now surrounds the perimeter of the campus. They're now also locking the main gate so that parents have to wait outside or in the office until the school unlocks the doors.
Parent Samantha Vargas says she doesn't mind. "You never know. So, it's good that they're doing all this. I think it keeps all of us safe," she said. In the meantime, she has been talking to 5-year-old Luke about strangers approaching him. "I get somebody and then I walk away," he said.
Mrozek is being held without bail. Wagstaffe said the investigation continues. He also said it's likely that there will be more incidents at other schools, so they're not releasing Mrozek's mugshot. He wants possible victims to identify him through a photo lineup and not through a news story. At Parkside Elementary another safety meeting with police and parents was scheduled for 6:30 Tuesday evening.
san mateo, foster city, children, crime, peninsula news, vic lee
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