By Sabina Mollot
A man attempted to lure a girl at a street fair that was held by the Jack and Jill School two Saturdays ago, Town & Village has learned.
According to a spokesperson for the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, an unknown man approached a six-year-old girl at the event, and asked where her dad was. He then told her she should go with him because he was her uncle, police said.
Mary Carroll French, the director at the school, told Town & Village that while she wasn’t a witness to the incident, she heard after the fact how a man had approached a former student who was at the event and spoke to her.
“It was what the NYPD would call attempted luring,” said Carroll French. But, she added, the girl didn’t respond to him. Additionally, the girl’s father was nearby as was another father and a sexton at the school.
“The sexton had his eye on him and was watching him,” she said. The sexton, then realizing the man was a stranger, shooed the man away and he left with his bike, although Carroll French said she didn’t know if he was riding it.
She noted that since the fair was held on a public street, East 16th Street between Rutherford Place and Third Avenue, anyone could walk through. The event was held from noon to 4 p.m. and Carroll French said she believed the man strode through later in the event. She added that parents at the school, which is for kids ages 2-5, have been alerted.
Police described the man as being black or Hispanic, approximately 6 ft. 1 in. and has curly or wavy hair.
The man’s actions were also mentioned in an email blast to neighbors from the Gramercy Park Block Association this past Tuesday. The email quotes a brief letter sent to parents from another local school that referred to the incident as an attempted kidnapping.
Last weekend, when another local school had a street fair, a couple of police officers were stationed nearby and this time there were no incidents, police said.