Officers have increased patrols countywide, with an emphasis on schools, after the attempted kidnapping of a 12-year-old boy on his way home from a friend’s house in Freeport on Tuesday evening, Nassau police said.
“We basically have every police officer in Nassau County aware of this situation and intensifying the patrols in all the areas we serve,” said Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, speaking at a news briefing Wednesday.
A honking horn sounded by a passing motorist — who police are looking to interview — coupled with the child fighting off the perpetrator, disrupted the kidnapping attempt, police said.
No arrests have been made. The child was not physically injured. LeBrun said he’s “OK” despite having gone through a “traumatic experience.”
Police are also poring over surveillance video — they wouldn’t divulge its details — and are want to speak to witnesses.
The boy, whose name and school were not released, was walking north on North Brookside Avenue about 5:04 p.m. when a man came up behind the victim and put a hand over his mouth, police said.
“At this point, the 12-year-old did try to push him away,” said LeBrun. “He did try to free himself.”
As the victim struggled, a passing driver honked a horn, which LeBrun called a “distraction technique” and the attacker fled south.
The attacker is in his 30s and wore a green jacket and jeans, police said.
The boy then called 911 on his cellphone to report the attack, police said.
LeBrun said the boy had done the right thing by fighting off the kidnapper.
“If a stranger grabs you, you can do anything to get away from that person,” LeBrun said. “I don’t care if you kick, scream, bite. You can do anything you can to get away from that perpetrator.”
LeBrun said police do not know if the youth was targeted by his attacker or if gang activity was a motive. Area schools have been notified of the incident.
Asked about the possibility that the boy’s story was a ruse to avoid getting in trouble with his parents, LeBrun said they thought it was legitimate because the boy called cops immediately after the incident.
Detectives asked anyone with information to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 800-244-8477.
With William Murphy