Man used ice cream truck to sexually assault kids, police say

DURHAM, North Carolina -- A Durham mother said she believes a man driving an ice cream truck is targeting low-income neighborhoods to sexually assault children.

The woman, who was not identified to protect her son, lives in Hoover Apartments in Durham. She said on Wednesday her 9-year-old son found the courage to tell her what happened to him on Oct. 22.

"The guy in the ice cream truck told him he could get in the van and help him give out ice cream to the kids in the neighborhood," said the woman, repeating her son's account. "He unlocked the door and invited my son on. When he got on, he locked the doors back and told him to go stand in the corner, grabbed him by the shoulders."

She said that's when her son said the man touched him inappropriately. He told the man to stop and said the man gave him a free ice cream and let him go.

Durham police said they believe the driver of that ice cream truck is 51-year-old Isam Fathee Mohamed Rahmah, of Durham.

They said he used a red ice cream truck to lure not one, but two boys inside to sexually assault them.

Back of the ice cream truck that Durham Police are looking for.

The assault happened in the 1100 block of S. Hoover Road, and a second assault happened on Oct. 25, in the 300 block of Junction Road.

The mother of the boy who was assaulted on the 22nd said the ice cream truck actually came back to the neighborhood.

She, her husband and her brother confronted the driver.

"His initial response was 'no I didn't do anything, I didn't do anything'," recalled the mother. "Then it went from 'I didn't do anything' to 'I don't know what you're talking about.'"

Durham police said the ice cream truck is actually a red Ford van. They said it has numerous pictures of popsicles decorated on the side and back, with the North Carolina license plate PCZ-3617.

The mother snapped a picture of the back of the van with the license plate.

Rahmah has been charged with felony first-degree kidnapping and indecent liberties with a child. Additional charges may be forthcoming.

Anyone with information was asked to call Investigator D. Mussatti at (919) 560-4440 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200.
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