WEST BABYLON, NY — Detectives are now investigating to see if a man who they say tried to lure teenage girls into his van on two separate occasions may have made other attempts to capture girls.
Marwan Hanna, 59, is now free on $1,500 bond on two counts of child endangerment following the alleged incidents that have left this community stunned.
"That is insanely crazy," said local resident Antonella Davi. "I can't believe it."
She's one of many people in the West Babylon and Babylon area in disbelief over what police say happened at a parking lot at a shopping plaza at 501 Montauk Highway in West Babylon, and on Main Street in Babylon.
On Aug. 22, Hanna followed a 14 year-old girl down Main Street in his van, according to the Suffolk County Police Department. The intentional pursuit, investigators claim, only stopped when a passerby noticed and intervened.
The person who stepped in is being called a good Samaritan by law enforcement. They also say that the person further helped by snapping a photo of Hanna's van. The image included Hanna's license plate. That same van, according to police, was seen Sept. 7 in the Montauk Highway shopping plaza. There, they say, Hanna tried to grab a 14 year-old girl. She escaped, and cops arrested Hanna on Tuesday.
PIX11 News spoke to a man who a neighbor identified as Hanna's brother. When asked about Marwan Hanna's status, the man simply said, "Have a good day, fellows."
Meanwhile, Hanna's neighbors said they were feeling uneasy that someone so close to home had been accused of crimes that disturbed them so much.
"I have a girlfriend who was supposed to move in this weekend," said Hanna's next-door neighbor, Brian Cannobio, "Now, she's a little shaky about it."
"Kids are on this block," said James Scanapico, another neighbor. "I have a granddaughter, John has grandchildren over there," Scanapico said, pointing to another neighbor's home. "Me? I don't want to say what I'd do [to a suspect accused of these crimes], or I'd get in trouble."
Hanna is free on bail, pending trial, and has pled not guilty.
Meanwhile, detectives have asked anyone who thinks they may have also been targeted by Marwan Hanna to call the Suffolk County Police Department First Precinct Crime Section at 631-854-8126.