BOROUGH PARK, Brooklyn — Parents in an Orthodox Jewish community in Borough Park are on edge after a 9-year-old boy was lured into a minivan.
The pervert masturbated in front of the child before handing him $100.
It happened on Wednesday, Sept. 14 near 49th Street and 18th Avenue in the tight-knit Hasidic neighborhood, where residents are known to not want to talk to police.
"The great thing in this case is the family didn't shove it under the rug which happens very often, because people don't want to be put through the court system," said Assemblyman Dov Hikind.
Hikind represents District 48, which includes Borough Park.
This incident happened just four blocks from the horrific 2011 case of Leiby Kletzky. The 8-year-old Hasidic boy was lost coming come from summer camp, the first day his parents allowed him to walk home alone. His story made national headlines and showed the outpouring of grief by the Hasidic community.
Levi Aron, a hardware store employee, was convicted of killing and dismembering Kletzky. Aron was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison.
Like Aron, the suspect in this case is believed to be a member of the Orthodox community.
"I remember the case of Leiby Kletzky. If this is true this is a devastating experience for the community," said Sarah Cohen, who has lived here for over 20 years. "You want to feel safe and could walk the streets safely and securely and we do have to be more alert and aware."
"You should know this is very rare," Cohen said. "It is an abomination if that's the case. It's in our neighborhood, we really do trust all the Hasidic people here, this is a rarity."
This innocent child was collecting donations for charity when he came upon the pervert. With the upcoming Jewish High Holidays, the little boy was collecting money for his Yeshiva school.
"Before the holidays, kids would go out with little boxes and go around collecting charity that would go to a particular cause. It's something in all the Jewish schools. He was doing a beautiful thing, collecting money for poor people."
The boy was learning about charity when he encountered evil. The parents reported the incident to the NYPD earlier this week, after their son told them what happened. Assemblyman Hikind applauds the actions of this boy's parents.
"In this case, you have parents prepared to act and not sit silently and not pretend it didn't happen. When you walk away and don't report an incident against a child, that perp is going to commit this act against another child," said Hikind.
The suspect is described as an Orthodox Jewish man in his late 30s or early 40s.
"The police are involved very seriously where we are hopeful this case will be trailed relatively fast," said Hikind.
If you have any information about this case, call the NYPD at 1-800-TIPS.