Broad Channel Stranger Interrogated
Police responded to West 14 Road at about 9 a.m. Tuesday when the frightened woman called 911 after an encounter with the man, who has not been charged with any crime. The woman, who had heard the description of an unidentified male sought by detectives for allegedly trying to lure children into his car this summer, blocked the man’s green Ford Taurus on the narrow, dead-end road.
The back seat of the man’s car was littered with an assortment of toys including stuffed animals, a sombrero, a small pink bicycle, and a sign that read: “Found a dog. May be your dog.” – items similar to those described in warning letters from the Broad Channel Civic Association (BCCA) addressed to parents.
After an investigation at the scene and hours of questioning at the 100 Precinct, the man was cited for vehicle infractions and released into the custody of an attorney and a doctor, police said. He was transported to a Valley Stream medical facility where he underwent a psychiatric evaluation and was admitted. Police would not release the man’s name because he was not charged with a crime.
“The District Attorney didn’t think there was a strong case,” said a law enforcement source. “It was just not enough to press charges.”
The Wave reported on August 20 that police were looking for a man suspected of trying to lure children to his car – a “green Ford Taurus or Mercury Sable,” according to the story.
Letters were sent home to parents in Rockaway and Broad Channel as recently as November 24 at the request of BCCA President Joe Young. “A 1995 green Ford Taurus is riding around the area with toys in the back of the car. There are 9/11 WTC bumper stickers on the rear of the car. He is a white male in his 30s. Please instruct your children to be careful. If you see this car please call 911,” the letters said.
Broad Channel resident Michael McMahon, whose 12-year-old daughter was approached by a stranger driving a vehicle matching that description in August, said a relative who lives near the scene called him on Tuesday and told him what was happening there. McMahon went directly to West 14 Road and told police what had happened to his daughter.
Officers then escorted McMahon to his daughter’s school, and the girl was taken from her class to the scene to see if she could identify the man. She at first said it was not him, McMahon said, but then saw his driver license picture and said it was the man, only he had gained weight. “She knew the car,” McMahon insisted.
Police said their investigation into both matters remains open and asked anyone with information to call the 100 Precinct Detective Unit at (718) 318-4200.