Bikers Against Predators conduct operation on Bernie campus; investigation underway

Sunday, January 14, 2024

A group called "Bikers Against Predators" conducted a operation on the Bernie School District campus Saturday night. A joint investigation involving the Bernie Police Department, Dexter Police Department and Stoddard County Prosecutor Sawyer Smith has begun.

“I wanted to inform the community that we began an active investigation in conjunction with Dexter Police Department and Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney, Sawyer Smith, after receiving this information last night,” said Bernie Police Chief Rick Cook via social media. “The school was immediately notified as well. The investigation is ongoing and we appreciate the community support. As referenced by Superintendent Brad Botch, this is a reminder to be diligent in monitoring your children’s social media and whereabouts.”

“Last night, an organization called "Bikers Against Predators" conducted an operation on our school property where a 50+ year old Dexter man came down to allegedly meet a 13 year old girl,” said Bernie Superintendent Brad Botsch in a Facebook statement on behalf of the district. “Neither the school district nor Bernie P.D. had knowledge that the operation was going to take place. The Bernie Police Department was called by the "Bikers Against Predators" organization to report property damage to a guide wire that the man ran into with his truck when he abruptly left after they confronted him. They also then notified the Bernie officer on duty about the video regarding the child solicitation.”

Botsch said "Bikers Against Predators" conducts these operations randomly across the nation in nan effort to expose chld predators. Botsch said it is much like the TV show, "To Catch a Predator".

“While we wish the operation had not been conducted on school property without our knowledge, nonetheless, it is a vibrant reminder to closely monitor your child's technology usage and know their whereabouts at all times,” said Botsch. “A video is circulating of the incident and is troubling to watch.”

“Just to be clear, no Bernie student was involved and there was no victim,” Botsch continued. “The organization apparently uses a decoy of some kind to expose potential child predators. The Bernie and Dexter P.D. are working closely with the school to investigate the situation. I just wanted the community and parents to be aware that this incident occurred.”

The investigation is ongoing into the incident.

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