Police Step Up Patrols Near George Washington Middle School

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Residents are on high alert after two attempted kidnappings were reported near a New Jersey school.

Around 3:15 p.m. on Friday, a student was walking home on North Monroe Street near George Washington Middle School in Ridgewood when a man grabbed her, police said. The girl broke free and ran away.

The suspect was described as white, about 6 feet, 2 inches tall and heavyset. He had gray or light-colored wavy hair of medium length, and was wearing jeans and a gray or greenish T-shirt with stains on it, along with dark sunglasses, police said.

A week earlier, police said a different man may have tried to abduct two students near Garfield Place and Godwin Avenue.

Around 5 p.m. on Oct. 25, police said an older-model, four-door blue sedan pulled up behind the students, and a man believed to be in his 60s or 70s yelled out at them through the open passenger window.

The students said the man said, “Hey girls, do you want to…” at which point they got scared and ran off through a yard, police said.

“The kids came running up on to the porch and had knocked because somebody had stopped and said something to them and it made them uncomfortable,” said resident John McMullim.

“Which was the right thing to do,” McMullim continued. “They came and found an adult, and then they called their mother. And we kept them up here on the porch until their mother came to get them.”

The suspect in that case was described as being white, having thick gold glasses with large frames; a short, scruffy beard; and balding hair, police said. His car had rust on the exterior, and black tape on the seats inside, police said.

Police have not linked the cases.

Police have increased patrols around the school, but parents aren’t taking any chances.

“This morning I was on my way to go buy little things of mace for my daughters,” said mother Sherri Uzoaru.

“A lot of nice towns are hurt by bad things,” said parent Patricia Reynoso. “You can’t be fooled by your environment. We don’t let our guard down.”

Some children in the area said they are concerned about their safety.

“I was worried because I walk to my dad’s apartment sometimes,” James Dietz, 13. “I was worried that they might get me.”

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