NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A suspect who was arrested and charged with luring and groping boys in three separate incidents in a park in the Bronx is set to face a judge on Friday.
There was anger but also relief among parents steps away from an elementary school outside of Seton Falls Park on Friday.
All of them were grateful for the arrest of 37-year-old Greg Boyden overnight, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
“When you start messing around with little kids and have no protection from a grown up, I would say basically put him away,” said parent Julius Span.
“Just horrible, terrible,” said another parent. “Very gross.”
Boyden was arrested Thursday for forcible touching, acting in a manner injurious to a child, public lewdness, sex abuse and other charges, police said.
Investigators said Boyden was seen on surveillance video around the time of one of the incidents in Seton Falls Park in the Edenwald section.
The first incident occurred Aug. 8. Police said he walked up to a 13-year-old boy and offered him money if he helped carry his bags.
When the boy agreed, police said Boyden groped the teen when they walked to the area of Baychester Avenue and Crawford Avenue.
Then on Sept. 17, he used a similar method on a 15-year-old inside the park, cops said. This time, the suspect led the boy to an isolated area of the park, where he exposed himself and then groped the boy, police said.
The latest incident happened Oct. 3. Police said he walked up to a 12-year-old boy inside the park and grabbed him by the arm. He then pulled the boy into a wooded area and then reached for his own waistband, police said. That’s when the child supposedly punched him in the face to defend himself and ran off.
Police said all of the incidents happened in the park during daylight hours, which parents say can be dangerous.
“When school is in session and the safety and crossings are out, that stuff is a little more contained but in the off times, it’s a free for all at times,” one parent said.
“Right now, my heart is so heavy because I’m going to be worried,” said Veronica Maynard, who has two young sons who walk through the park every afternoon on the way home from the elementary school next door. There’s also a junior high school down the block and a high school across the way.
Many said his arrest comes as a warning.
“Parents, you just can’t turn your back and say, ‘Go down the block’ and ‘I’m watching you’ because the moment you turn around, something can go wrong,” said Johnnie Goff of Community Board 12.
None of the boys were hurt, police said.
Police said they caught Boyden at his Bronx home after their investigation connected him to a fourth incident. Police said Boyden sent a lewd photo of himself to a 13-year-old boy on Aug. 1 and then called the victim offering him money for sex.
Investigators were able to trace the number back to Boyden, Burrell reported.
In that case, police said he has been charged with providing indecent material to minors, aggravated harassment and other charges.