VIENNA, W.Va. (WTAP) - UPDATE 11/4/2019 7:20 PM:
Earlier today, WTAP spoke to parents about the allegations in their community park.
Right across the street from a local middle school, a sexual abuse involving a minor allegedly takes place in a park many felt was safe.
“I always felt this was a safe park, but after this…” said Michael Walter, a local parent.
“It honestly makes me mad, because there’s no way of keeping your kids safe nowadays,” said Stephanie Hunt, another parent.
But how is the park made safe again? Some parents feel extra police presence may help.
“I think they just need to patrol it more. I really do. It’s rare if you see a Vienna Police officer cruise through here. It really is,” said Walter.
On top of extra patrols, some parents believe police should spend time walking through the park as well.
“They need to get out of the car and walk through here and check the restrooms. Unfortunately that’s the way it’s going to have to be,” said Walter.
Vienna Police Chief Mike Pifer says parents are right to be concerned, but generally the parks are safe.
“As far as making the facility safe, the parks here in Vienna are relatively very safe.
There’s even camera in Jackson Park that have contributed to the ongoing sexual abuse investigation. However, Pifer says they will be increasing patrols in the area.
“I mean, I’m a parent too. So any time something like this – it’s very concerning,” said Pifer.
But even some parents say the police can’t stop everything.
“You just can’t police everyone. But, you know, you just have to be aware. You can’t let your children go into a restroom by themselves. You know, you just can’t do it,” said Walter.
“Nowadays, There’s not much to be done, but maybe if a cop sits down here, rotates shifts and stuff, it would make parents feel a little more safe,” said Hunt.
ORIGINAL STORY 11/4/2019:
An 18-year-old Vienna man has been charged after police say he "forced himself on a juvenile female" in a restroom at Jackson Park on Friday.
Police arrested Isaac T. McDonald Monday on a warrant for first-degree sexual abuse, a felony punishable by one to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He's expected to be arraigned Monday evening in County Magistrate Court.
In a news release, Police Chief Mike Pifer said the alleged incident happened about 7 p.m. Friday after the girl, who's age hasn't been released, went inside a women's restroom at the park playground.
Pifer said the investigation in continuing and that more charges are possible.