A Glen Head man was arrested for luring a child on Thursday, Feb. 1 at 9 a.m. in Westbury.
According to detectives, Denis Melara, 32, was operating a white Ford van on Grand Blvd. when he observed the victim, a 15 year old female, walking to school. Melara approached the victim and told her to get in the van. The victim complied, believing it was her mother’s friend. Melara attempted to convince the victim not to go to school. The victim felt something was wrong and told the defendant she wanted to go to school. Melara then dropped her off in the vicinity of Westbury High School.
Melara was located by detectives on Feb. 2 and placed into custody without incident.
Denis Melara is charged with Luring A Child, Fourth-Degree Criminal Solicitation and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. He was arraigned on Saturday, Feb. 3 at First District Court in Hempstead.
County Executive Laura Curran and Commissioner Patrick J. Ryder offer tips to parents and children on being alert and vigilant while out in the public.
- Parents and their children should work together to ensure a strategic plan to combat dangerous predators.
- Parents should teach kids to know their full address and their phone numbers in addition to teaching them to avoid isolated areas of parks, playgrounds and public restrooms.
- Teach children to run away from someone that is bothering them and try to attract attention to themselves by yelling or screaming.
- If being followed by someone in a car, try to remember the license plate number and to the best of their ability-get a detailed description of the predator.
- Teach children the tricks used by predators such as bribing them, requesting help from them or even a threat.
- Parents should have a code word with their children to use in the event someone is attempting to pick them up, that person should know the code word.
- Children should know that if they become a victim, they can and should do anything possible to get away from the predator.
Detectives urge anyone that feels they may have been a victim of a similar crime to contact the Third Precinct Detective Squad at 516-573-6353.