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Watchung Police Chief Warns Against Vigilantism, Stranger Danger

Patrick Deck  (credit: Police handout)

Patrick Deck (credit: Police handout)

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WATCHUNG, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - The police chief in Watchung is speaking out after 52-year old resident Patrick Deck was accused of molesting a child and also videotaping others in a bathroom at the Land of Make Believe amusement park.

WCBS 880′s Jim Smith On The Story

Some parents in Watchung have expressed concern if Deck were to return free on $200,000 bail.

Police Chief Timothy Wenzel is warning against any would-be vigilantes.

“They can’t take things into their own hands,” Wenzel told WCBS 880 reporter Jim Smith. “They would be held accountable.”

Instead, the chief suggests parents reinforce to their children that they should stay away from strangers.

“Even if it’s somebody within your neighborhood, unless your parents have given you permission,” he said.

The school district is also using it as an opportunity to review security measures and a special ‘stranger danger’ program is set for opening day.

Wenzel said that, like every first day of school, extra police will be on hand.