RIVERSIDE (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A man was arrested after approaching three girls in a west suburban Riverside candy store, talking to them about Nazis and defending Adolf Hitler.
The three girls, aged 12 to 14, were in Aunt Diana’s, 29 E. Burlington St., at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday when the 59-year-old man approached them and started talking about “Adolf Hitler, Nazis, and not marrying outside your race,” Riverside Chief of Police Thomas Weitzel said in a statement.
He told them that they should “study history because Adolf Hitler was not an evil person,” police said.
After the man offered to buy them candy, the girls declined, took a photo of the man on a cellphone and then alerted their parents who contacted authorities, police said.
Riverside police recognized the man in the photo, a Berwyn resident, from a previous arrest and were able to locate him the following day, Weitzel said. Police arrested the man and he was charged with three misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct.
Police said the man admitted during an interview with detectives that he did what he was accused of, but that “he did not see anything wrong with it and did not believe it was strange or unlawful.”
Weitzel said the man did not make physical contact with the girls and no one was hurt.
“I have nothing but high praise for these three girls who had the common sense to use their cell phones to take a picture of the individual who was bothering them,” Weitzel said in the statement.
The suspect arrested had no violent criminal history, according to Weitzel.