Mother of Child Groped By Des Moines Man Reacts To Arrest

 

DES MOINES, Iowa -- It's a parents worst nightmare.  "All of a sudden he saw my son and a group of girls and targeted my son.  He picked my son up and held him against his will," said Randee Keller, a resident at the Deer Ridge Apartments at 6009 Creston Avenue.

For Keller the nightmare was reality.  "In the video I was shown it looked like he was kissing my son."  On May 30th, Des Moines police say 19 year old Pah Peh allegedly groped Keller's son and two other children all under the age of 13.  It occurred near one of the apartment playgrounds.  Nine year old Jamarion Burns was among the group of witnesses.  This stranger was trying to hug all the kids, so everybody went upstairs."

Peh still managed to trap Keller's son.  "When my son tried to run away he blocked my son from running away," said Keller.  Peh then allegedly attempted to get her son alone.  "This gentleman had told my son he needed to show him where he lived."  Fortunately Keller was home to answer the door.  She said, "The minute my dog ran after him it scared him.  I came out and noticed this man was too close to my son."

Peh then ran outside where he ran into Nikki Wagner, another resident, who had just heard from other kids what happened.  She said, "I asked him why are you trying to hug the kids? He was like, why can't I? What is wrong it?"

Peh took off in a vehicle but not before the property manager alerted police who arrested him six days later thanks to surveillance video. Jamarion said, "It's good because if he was still out, kids could have been killed or raped."

The playground is across from the apartment complex's parking lot. While it's easy to keep a watchful eye on their children, parents will have an unsettling feeling from now on.  Keller said, "To find out someone touched my kid and finding out later and not sooner, I'm not even going to say.  It's not ok, nor is it right."

Peh charged with sexual assault, enticing a minor, kidnapping and reckless use of fire. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 18th.  A no contact order was also given to Peh on Thursday June 8th. He is prohibited from any contact with juveniles under the age of 18 and any location where juveniles may be present.