BROWNSVILLE, Brooklyn — A Brooklyn grade school sent a letter to parents this week warning them of a man police said has been using his dogs to try to lure children into a nearby apartment building.
A letter from the staff at Leadership Prep Ocean Hill in Brownsville, obtained by PIX11, said police informed the school that a suspected predator had been wandering the parameter of the school during drop-off and pick-up times with his dogs, one of which is a black and white Husky.
At least three similar incidents occurred in the past week alone, according to police, prompting the school to send the later out Wednesday.
According to police, the first incident occurred Monday just after 7:30 a.m., in the vicinity of Osborn Street and Pitkin Avenue, when the unidentified man approached a 13-year-old girl and asked her to take a photo of him with his dog.
According to the school, that’s when the man tells the child he left his camera in his apartment and asks that they follow him inside.
Authorities said once inside the nearby apartment building, he groped the girl and tried to prevent her from leaving by taking her backpack and placing his dog by the doorway.
Officials said the predator only fled when the girl’s friend called out to her nearby.
A day later, early Tuesday morning, police believe the same man tried the same thing again, twice, attempting to to lure two girls, ages 12 and 11, to a building nearby by again asking them to take a picture of him with his dog.
In both of these incidents the children became frightened and ran away before being led by the man into the building, authorities said.
Police described the suspect as a man in his 20s, standing between 5 feet, 3 inches and 5 feet, 5 inches tall, with his hair in braids. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweater and black pants, officials said.
“We understand that this is a scary situation for our school community,” the letter from the school reads. “We want to reassure you that the 73rd Precinct is in active pursuit of the described male…The 73rd Precinct has also increased presence in the area surrounding our school,” it continues.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).