UNION COUNTY, NJ — Police are investigating several luring attempts made in Roselle, Kenilworth and Linden. According to a local news source, the suspect in Roselle is described as a Caucasian male in his thirties with a cleft chin, unibrow and flower tattoo on his right elbow. He has dark hair and a thin build. Three attempted incidents were reported in Roselle in between Abraham Clark High School and Leonard V. Moore Middle School. One incident in Roselle was reported as an attempted kidnapping, which involved an attempt to abduct a 12-year-old.
“The case is an ongoing investigation, and the Roselle Police are working with Union County Prosecutors Special Victims Unit and New Jersey State Police in the investigation,” Roselle Police Chief Gerald Orlando said at a recent Board of Education meeting. “The Roselle Police Department has increased patrols around the schools and the department’s community policing office has visited the schools to inform students what to do in case they are approached. Visibility during school hours is key.”
The most recent incident in Roselle occurred on Sept. 22 at approximately 4:30 p.m. According to Roselle Police Chief Gerald J. Orlando, a 16-year-old Hispanic female was approached on the 500 block of Walnut Street by a male in a silver SUV-style vehicle.
“The male grabbed the victim around the waist at which time the victim was able to break free and run away,” said Chief Orlando.
The assailant’s description matches that of the assailant sought in a previous incident in which a 12-year-old black female was grabbed by the arm but was able to escape. In that incident, which occurred on September 21, at approximately 8 a.m., the juvenile was walking to school in the area of the 100 block of West 7th Avenue in Roselle when she observed a silver SUV Crossover vehicle parked and occupied by an unknown male subject. The subject stated to the victim that he had something for her and held up a jacket. When the victim approached the vehicle, the subject dropped the jacket and grabbed the victim by the arm. The victim was able to pull away from the subject and run for help.
According to a recent press release provided by Mark Spivey, director of communications for the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, a 15-year-old girl reported being approached by an unknown male at approximately 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21 in the area of Monroe Avenue and North 16th Street in Kenilworth. In Linden, two 10-year-old girls reported an unknown vehicle following them near School No. 2 on South Wood Avenue at approximately 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27. At least three incidents took place in Roselle during the last week, and the circumstances of each remain under investigation. The luring victims, all girls ranging in age from 12 to 16, all reported that the incidents involved an unknown male either asking them if they wanted a ride or physically grabbing them on the street. None of the girls were injured as a result, as each managed to escape while the male suspect drove away.
Kevin West of Roselle Public Schools was contacted by LocalSource by email and phone to discover if schools are taking any precautions against further attempts. A response was not received by West as of press time.
Anyone with information about any of these matters is being urged to contact Union County Prosecutor’s Office Sgt. Timothy Durkin at 973-698-9529, Roselle Police Department Detective Carmen Olivera at 908-245- 9200, Kenilworth Police Department Sgt. James Grady at 908-276- 5001, or Linden Police Department Lt. Airan Fernandez at 908-474-8412.