NEWPORT (WATE) – Some Cocke County parents are shaken up after hearing a strange man might be chasing boys in their neighborhood. One teenager in the Carson Springs area of Newport said a man tried to grab him off his bike and then run after him.
The Carson Springs neighborhood is quiet. Some parents call it safe.
“Always been safe. There has never been any issues. Everybody knows everybody,” said Rachel Wilburn.
Wilburn felt that way until last week. She got a phone call from her son after a scary bike ride to a friend’s house just before dark.
“I was a little shaky,” said Dalton Wilburn.
Dalton Wilburn said something unexpected happened after turning on Johnson Street. He said he has taken this rode more than a dozen times and nothing has happened. However, he said last week a man jumped out of the woods, tried to grab him from his bike and then chased him down the street.
“Prayed to God and didn’t ask questions and just peddled on,” he said.
He said he got to his friend’s house okay and called the police. Dalton Wilburn said police told him a man chased another boy in the same neighborhood the night before.
“Everybody has snatched their young ‘uns up. Nobody is allowed at dark anymore,” Rachel Wilburn said.
Rachel Wilburn has noticed more officers patrolling her neighborhood. As far as she knows, police have not found the man.
“Keep your young-ins in until he is found or until we find out what is going on,” she said.
Dalton said the man was wearing a black hoodie, has a scruffy beard and long hair. Cocke County Sheriff’s Office said they are looking into the incident further. They urged everyone to remain alert and call 911 if they see anyone suspicious.