SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane Police Department said there is nothing they can do about a man who was spotted holding a sign that read "I'm so deep inside your children Spokane" outside of the Spokane Public Library near Shadle Park High School.
SPD said the man pictured in a viral Facebook post did not break any laws with the sign and was entitled to freedom of speech, so they cannot do anything unless he starts approaching kids or harassing people.
Officers did encourage residents to report things like this in case it escalates.
Spring Shoupe, the mom of a Shadle High School student, said she saw the man with the sign Wednesday afternoon around 2:45 p.m. Shoupe said she knew a lot of teenagers who were walking in the area where the man was holding the sign.
“I know all the kids coming through that intersection and there he is,” Shoupe explained. “It was just such an uncomfortable feeling.”
As a concerned parent, Shoupe snapped photos of the man and reported it to the Cop Shop nearby.
“I don’t feel safe about what he was doing, so even if he’s not breaking any law it doesn’t hurt my neighborhood to know that’s what he’s up to,” Shoupe explained.
Shouple reported the man was going from light to light showing the sign to cars and cracking up laughing.
“I noticed the guy was standing at the bus stop and had a sign and was laughing to himself,” Shoupe said.
After reporting it to the Cop Shop, she drove back to the intersection, but said the man was gone. Shoupe said he left his sign behind.
KREM 2 spoke with the Shadle Library Assistant Branch Manager. He said he warned staff to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity.
"All staff here are aware and I just posted a security report on our intranet so staff City wide are aware now," explained Shadle Library Assistant Branch Manager Jordan Hilker.
Staff at Shadle Library are prepared to take action if the man holding this sign comes back onto their property.
“If I do see him again, I'll talk to him and try to issue a trespass because I don't want him in the area on our grounds holding signs like that with a high school over here and a middle school just down the street, elementary just up the street over here, and our library, so it's disturbing and disgusting to see that," Hilker said.
Shadle Library staff said they work hard to make sure people feel safe and welcome at their building, so they have gone above and beyond to train staff for something like this.
This isn't the first time they've had issues nearby.
"We've installed security cameras, seven of them, we're actually looking to install another three to four this year,” Hilker explained. “We've done a lot of staff training on how to handle difficult situatoins, difficult customers, and just really crack down with being a little more stern issuing trespasses and not letting people walk all over us."
After making her report to police, Shoupe went back to the intersection. The guy was gone, but he left the sign behind.