NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are looking for a man accused of luring and groping three boys in separate incidents inside a park in the Bronx.
They all happened during daylight hours in Seton Falls Park in the Edenwald section.
The first incident occurred Aug. 8. Police said the man walked up to a 13-year-old boy and offered him money if he helped carry his bags.
When the boy agreed, the man groped the teen when they walked to the area of Baychester Avenue and Crawford Avenue, police said.
Then on Sept. 17, the man 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 the man 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.
None of the boys were hurt, police 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.
“That is very scary,” Maynard told CBS2’s Ilana Gold. “I really definitely need to talk to my children about being wary of their surroundings.”
When asked what she would say to the culprit, Maynard said, “You’re a disgusting, despicable person.”
Teachers at the nearby schools have just learned about the incidents and said they planned to talk to students Wednesday about how to protect themselves.
“It scares me as a teacher, especially all the kids. We see them every day. For their safety. We just want them to be safe,” said Erin Gebert of P.S. 111.
Investigators have released surveillance video of the suspect. He is described as a black man in his 30s, about 5 feet 3 inches tall with a slim build, shaved head and a foreign accent. He was seen wearing brown sandals, a blue T-shirt and black shorts during at least one of the incidents.
Police are warning everyone who uses the park to be on high alert for the suspect.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.