ELMONT, N.Y. (CBS 2) — Police on Long Island are hunting for two potential child predators.
For the second time this week, there’s a warning about a man attempting to abduct children.
The first pattern of attempted child abductions was in the Islip area of Suffolk County, and the second was in the Elmont area of Nassau County.
“They had it on the loudspeaker in homeroom, talking about how a man is going around, messing with children like me,” 14-year-old Asia Lawrence, a ninth grader from Elmont, said.
Students and parents are anxious and police are on alert in Elmont, where teen boys – each walking alone – were approached by a man driving slowly alongside them.
“He said something to both of them, something along the lines of, ‘stop, hey, can you get in my car, I want you to get in my car,’” Nassau County Police Lieutenant Kevin Smith said. “[He] kept pace with the boys as they walked or ran away.”
In each case, the kids ran to adults for help and called 911. The attempted lurings, by a suspect who spoke “flamboyantly,” took place not far from Carlson Elementary School.
The first incident occurred on Doherty Avenue, while the second happened on Johnson Avenue.
The Sassine family lives nearby.
“As a parent, you start when they’re this big, telling them about strangers,” parent Celeste Sassine said.
“If they just asked me, I would say, ‘No, thank you,’ and walk away,” Sassine’s son, Jean, said. “But if they say, ‘Get in the car,’ I would run away.”
Police are advising schoolchildren that, should a car pull up and keep pace as they walk, they should turn and run in the opposite direction.
Police say the suspect drives an older model, box-like, dark-colored small SUV with lightly tinted windows.
The suspect is described as a black man in his late 20s to early 30s with a medium complexion and a thin build. He has short, dark hair and was unshaven, and he has an “effeminate” voice.
“As a bus driver and a matron on the bus, we can keep an eye out,” bus driver Sharon Schaefer said. “We are around town all day long.”
With the help of eyes and ears of the community, police hope to find the would-be abductor.