After a number of incidents where a stranger attempted to follow children, police in Merrick, NY have now increased patrols and they are on heightened alert. On April 26, 2013, the principal of the Merrick Avenue Middle School sent an email to parents about an incident that had occurred several days before. A man approached an eighth grade, male student, who was on his way to the school. The man spoke to the student in Spanish and tried to grab him by the arm. The student immediately went to the main office at his school and reported this incident, and the Nassau County Police were called in.
There were other incidents that occurred before this one. On April 10, 2013, an eighth grader who attends the Grand Avenue Middle School noticed an old green car that seemed to be slowing down and following the student. The driver tried to get the attention of the student and rolled down his window. The student turned around and ran home, and the student's parents called the police. On April 18, 2013, a white van started to follow a sixth grader as she walked home from a bus stop. Her parents filed a police report. And on April 19, 2013, the North Merrick School District reported that three sixth graders were walking home from school when a male driver approached in a gray car. The children ran and a police report was filed.
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano asks residents to call 911 immediately if they see anything that is out of the ordinary.