A woman is in jail after a bystander told police she was acting inappropriately with a minor near a public park.
On May 1, someone walking through Cascades Park in Bloomington, Indiana, contacted police to report people having sex inside a van. The concerned resident provided the license plate number and description of the vehicle.
"Because it’s a park area, there’s a lot of children in that area, the complaint came in [and] they thought it was very inappropriate what they thought they were seeing inside that van," Bloomington Police Captain Steve Kellams told WXIN.
Around 7:40 p.m., a police officer saw the van leaving the park and pulled it over, reports WBIW. Inside the vehicle was the driver, 41-year-old Alma Rice, and a 15-year-old female passenger.
When questioned by the officer, Rice initially said the teenager was the daughter of a friend. During the interrogation, she "appeared very nervous and continued referring to jail," according to court documents. Rice confessed to "[pulling] the blinds closed over the windows" to fondle and kiss the teenager in the van near a playground at a public park.
Rice is being held without bail and is facing felony charges of sexual misconduct with a minor. Rice also admitted she knew the girl was a minor.
Local residents said the case was unusual for the area.
"I haven’t ever met any sketchy characters around here, I also haven’t heard too many bad things," said local resident Grace Padget. "I wouldn’t expect to show up here and have something like that going on."
Kellams explained had the passerby not contacted law enforcement, it might have been too late. Fortunately, thanks to the resident’s quick thinking, authorities have an opportunity to investigate into the case.
"The citizens seeing things that are inappropriate, knowing things that aren’t supposed to be happening, and reporting those, that’s really what our job is, to respond to those issues and instances and make sure everybody is safe," Kellams said. "That’s exactly what we did in this instance."