Friday, October 24, 2014

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Ulster, Dutchess police warn parents of threat to student safety

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Albany/HV: Ulster, Dutchess police warn parents of threat to student safety
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Police in both Ulster and Dutchess counties are warning parents of a possible threat to student safety following two instances of possible attempted abduction. YNN’s Alexandra Weishaupt has more on that student’s quick thinking and immediate action along with safety tips for parents.

HUDSON VALLEY, N.Y. -- You never can be too careful when it comes to safety and when faced with a compromising situation, two middle school students knew just what to do.

“She was approached by a white male in a white van who asked her to get in the van to help her look for his lost dog,” said Lt. Robert Benson, Hyde Park Police Department.

She is a 13-year-old Haviland Middle School student who was alone at her bus stop near Circle Road in Hyde Park. When approached by the van, she reached in her pocket to pretend she was answering her cell phone and ran back towards her house. The driver of the van then took off.

And Tuesday afternoon, a Bailey Middle School student was faced with a similar situation in Hurley. That 13-year-old had gotten off at her bus stop at the intersection of School House Lane and Russell Road when she, too, says she was approached by a man.

“A white vehicle approached her driving north on School House Lane and made a waving motion towards her. He made no overt action to abduct her and there was no conversation, no doors opened,” said Senior Investigator Peter Kusminski, New York State Police.

Police say in that case they think the car was a four door Nissan. At this point they don’t believe the two cases are related, however, they aren’t ruling anything out.

“Sometimes people change vehicles and they could change what could be their physical appearance,” said Benson.

School leaders are commending the teens for their ability to act appropriately. They say now more than ever, it’s an important time for families to talk about strangers and safety procedures with children.

“We speak to them here. We need them to reinforce it at home just to make sure our students keep out of harm’s way,” said Kingston City School District Superintendent Paul Padalino.

Police in both cases are urging anyone with information to contact them.

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