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Assault Reports Bring Fear to Nebraska Community

February 8, 1993

GERING, Neb. (AP) _ Children have slept in closets and in their parents’ beds in this community reeling from two alleged attacks on youths that have taken place inside or near homes.

In a third reported incident, a man stood in a teen-ager’s bedroom doorway and then disappeared.

″I think the citizenry is pretty jumpy and spooked about the whole thing,″ Mayor Bob Unzicker said Monday.

Schools in the Scottsbluff-Gering area of about 25,000 people 400 miles west of Omaha have notified students and parents of the alleged attacks.

A cook at B J’s Yellow Rose Cafe said her children are petrified.

″I woke up one night and heard breathing in my bedroom,″ said Bonnie Lockman, who lives in Scottsbluff. She investigated and found her two children curled up in her closet.

They said, ‴Mom, we just want to sleep in here because there are no windows in here and nobody can see us,‴ Mrs. Lockman said.

In the latest incident, a 17-year-old woman reported Saturday that a man wearing a ski mask and dark clothing ran into her family’s garage and tried to assault her, Gering Police Chief Mel Griggs said.

The man apparently had trailed the teen-ager home Saturday, then ran into the garage as she got out of the car. He forced her back into the car, but she honked the horn.

Her father heard it, but ″by the time he got there, the guy was gone,″ Griggs said.

On Jan. 27, a 10-year-old girl told police a man wearing a ski mask pulled her from her bedroom in the early morning hours and fondled her on her front lawn while the rest of her family slept.

Two days before that, a 16-year-old woman reported seeing a man in her bedroom doorway, but the man disappeared and she wasn’t hurt.

Griggs said police have no suspects.

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