Created: 03/07/2014 10:16 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
When an Albuquerque man saw a photo of a suspect police were looking for, he says he immediately recognized it.
“When I first saw the picture I immediately identified that was the individual I had seen last summer,” Michael Phillips said.
Phillips lives along Eubank, near the apartments where police say Kevin Jaramillo sprayed kids with an unidentified substance and videotaped it. Phillips says last summer, he believes he saw the man watching people swimming.
“I noticed the individual had his pants down and was fondling himself inappropriately,” Phillips said.
He says he called APD, but as he did, the man ran. As a result, no apprehension was made and no report was filed. APD cannot verify whether it was the same man, but Phillips says he was sure it was the same man he saw in the photo APD released.
Police say that photo and the public safety alert they issued with it prompted dozens of concerned calls from parents, as well as promises from those callers to watch their neighborhoods for a glimpse of him. Phillips says he’s grateful police cracked the case so quickly, and that the community came together to keep kids safe.
“We live in this area so it's really important for us to have awareness of what's going on around us and really work together as a community to identify things out of the norm and apprehend those individuals if possible,” Phillips said.
Police can’t confirm whether Jaramillo is the same man that Phillips saw because that man ran away. Jaramillo is charged with eight counts of child abuse for the spray bottle cases.