The Flatbush Shomrim Safety patrol was honored at the recent 70th Precinct Community Council meeting for nabbing a serial pedophile after he molested three young children in local parks.
The Flatbush Shomrim is a volunteer registered civilian patrol made up mainly of Orthodox Jews who work closely with the local precicnts to combat quality-of-life nuisance crimes.
However, the sharp-eyed patrrol was more than on the job when they cornered the pediphile after he had allegedly spent the day sexually abusing children in area parks.
According to 70th Precinct Captain Peter Venice, the incident began to unfold at about 2:30 p.m., April 17 at Gravesend Park on 57th Street and 18th Avenue, within the confines of the 66th Precinct, when reports came in that an elderly man sexually abused a four-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl in the park’s bathroom.
“As the young girl ran to get her sister for help, the perpetrator in question ran and left the area,” said Venice.
Venice said about two hours later at 4:30 p.m. at the park on Avenue F and McDonald Avenue, in the confines of the 70th Precinct, an eight-year-old girl was sexually abused – also in the park’s bathroom.
As this victim called for help, a member of the Flatbush Shomrim, who was nearby, followed, chased down and held the suspect until the police arrived, said Venice.
Venice said other Shomrim members and the police were contacted.
Officers from the 70th Precinct responded, and victims and witnesses from both instances positively identified the suspect, who was placed under arrest
The perpetrator was later identified as a 61-year-old man from Stamford, Connecticut, said Venice.
“This defendant has previously served time for an armed bank robbery in Manhattan years ago and was also wanted by the FBI for approximately six years for a similar sex crime in Virginia,” said Venice.
Venice related this story as well as gave plaques to the Shomrim patrol at the recent 70th Precinct Community Council because he wanted to publicly thank the patrol for their efforts in keeping the community safe.
“These were two serious crimes and if not for the efforts of the Shomrim of Flatbush Safety Patrol, this defendant might still be on the loose out there committing these terrible crimes against children,” said Venice.