3 Year Old Child Wounded in Drive-By Shooting

by NewsChannel 36 Staff

 Posted on January 27, 2010 at 6:01 AM

 Updated today at 7:43 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C.— A toddler was shot in a drive-by shooting in the Hidden Valley neighborhood of northeast Charlotte early Wednesday morning and police say it might be connected to a shooting at a west Charlotte nightclub.

The drive-by happened around 3:15 a.m. Wednesday on Squirrel Hill Road near West Sugar Creek Road and Interstate 85.

 Police say several people inside a car began shooting at a home with three adults and three children inside, including a three-year-old boy who was hit in the kneecap. The boy was taken to Carolinas Medical Center and is expected to be ok.

 Witnesses at the scene on Squirrel Hill Road tell NewsChannel 36 that one of the people in the home had just returned from Face Nightclub off Freedom Drive where there was an earlier shooting. They say he told family members that his car was stolen during an altercation. Police have not confirmed this information.

 No one was hurt in the nightclub shooting.

Advertisements
Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 2:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Debit-Card ‘Skimming’ Scams

Friday, January 15, 2010

From Consumer Reports

Three steps to take to protect your account data from getting into the wrong hands

Whether by choice or necessity, American consumers are increasingly relying on debit rather than credit cards. Debit card spending has risen steadily, growing from 47.7 percent of purchases made with plastic in 2003 to 58.9 percent in 2008 and it is expected to surpass 67 percent by 2013, according to the Nilson Report, a newsletter that tracks the consumer payment industry.

When you use a debit card, the money is immediately taken from your checking account. While using debit guarantees that you pay as you go, these cards have downsides, including a growing appeal to thieves. “As economic conditions have worsened, there’s been a noticeable increase in all types of card fraud,” says Avivah Litan, an analyst specializing in fraud detection and prevention at Gartner Research in Stamford, Conn. “But ATM and debit-card fraud is the top area of concern we’re hearing about from banks all over the world.”

More from ConsumerReports.org:

Pros and Cons of Debit Cards

Credit Card Perks

Post-Recession Investing

Unlike credit-card thieves, who usually charge merchandise and then resell it to come up with money, people who create counterfeit ATM or debit cards by stealing your PIN and other account data can simply pull cold cash from your bank account. Using a technique known as skimming, they set up equipment that captures magnetic stripe and keypad information when you input your PIN at ATM machines, gas pumps, restaurants, or retailers.

Here’s how you can protect yourself:

Don’t Type in Your Pin at the Pump

Be especially vigilant at gas stations, Litan says. “Gas pumps are notorious for skimming because they’re produced by only a couple of different manufacturers, and if someone gets the key to one from a disgruntled employee, they can insert a skimming device inside the pump where it can’t be seen,” she says. She recommends using a credit card rather than a debit card when you fill your tank.

If you must use a debit card at the gas pump, choose the screen prompt that identifies it as a credit card so that you do not have to type in your PIN. The purchase amount will still be deducted from your bank account, but it will be processed through a credit-card network, which will give you greater protection from liability if fraud does occur. This is because card issuers typically have “zero liability” policies for both debit and credit cards, but sometimes exclude PIN-based transactions from that protection.

Stick With ATMs Located at Banks

To reduce your risk at ATMs, use machines at banks rather than in convenience stores, airports, or any isolated locations, advises Darrin Blackford, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, which investigates financial crimes involving interstate commerce. “A thief has to be able to attach and retrieve a skimming device to use the data it’s gathered,” he says. “And that’s more likely to happen in nonbank settings where there’s less traffic and no surveillance cameras.”

That doesn’t mean that bank ATMs are immune, however. In August 2008, Wachovia Bank reported that several debit-card “identities” were stolen when a skimming device was placed on an ATM at a branch in Cape Coral, Fla.

“It’s often hard to spot skimmers,” Blackford says. “But if you notice a change at an ATM you use routinely, such as a color difference in the card reader or a gap where something appears to be glued onto the slot where you insert your card, that’s a warning sign you’d want to report to the bank that owns the machine.”

Closely Monitor Your Bank Accounts

Check them regularly—preferably online rather than waiting for monthly statements to arrive in the mail. Federal law limits your liability for fraudulent debit-card charges to $50, but only if you report the theft or loss of your card or PIN within two business days of discovering the problem. If you fail to report unauthorized charges within 60 days of the date the statement listing those charges was mailed, you could be liable for any unauthorized withdrawals afterward, including the full value of credit lines or savings accounts linked to your account for overdraft protection.

Visa and MasterCard have zero liability policies that go beyond federal law by exempting debit cardholders from liability in most circumstances when a bank investigation confirms that a transaction is fraudulent. But dealing with debit-card fraud can have a greater impact on your finances than credit-card fraud.

When you’re a victim of unauthorized charges on a credit card, you won’t be out any money while the disputed charges are being investigated. But when a thief steals money from your bank account using a counterfeit debit or ATM card, that cash won’t be restored to your account until the bank conducts its investigation and classifies it as a case of fraud. Some victims of debit-card skimming scams who have contacted the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, about their experiences report that while banks in most cases replenished the stolen funds, some of them had no access to the money for several weeks while bank investigations were conducted.

Published in: on January 15, 2010 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Security Tight for MS-13 Trial Today

by NewsChannel 36 Staff

Posted on January 12, 2010 at 8:13 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A huge trial starts this morning for members of the MS-13 gang, a dangerous gang out of El Salvador, and security is tight.

The federal racketeering trial of six alleged members of the notorious MS-13 gang starts at 9:30 a.m.

It will be impossible for anyone who travels by the federal courthouse not to notice all the extra security.  Tents set up to shield the six suspects as they walk into the federal courthouse.

Barricades are set up in the street to limit the flow of traffic around the courthouse today as lawyers try to choose a jury out of 100 potential jurors.

“We need to move forward and let people know that we’re not just going to stand by on the wayside and allow youth violence or gang members to come into our city and take over community and make people live in fear,” said Warren Turner, Charlotte City Council.

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 2:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Charlotte Fugitive Nabbed in Miami

By Ely Portillo
elyportillo@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Monday, Jan. 11, 2010

GRD11SIPG.2

Mera from a previous arrest. Courtesy CMPD

 A man wanted for allegedly shooting a teen in the chest early Sunday morning was arrested in Miami after fleeing Charlotte, police announced Monday.

 Jason Mera, 20, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say he shot Jordan Merced, 19, at about 1:30 a.m., at a party in an apartment on Steelecroft Farm Lane.

 They say Mera and Merced got into an argument which led to the shooting. Merced remains in critical but stable condition at Carolinas Medical Center

 Police soon learned that Mera was planning to flee Charlotte and issued an alert to airport police and the Transportation Safety Administration. He managed to board a flight and escape the city – but authorities nabbed him at the Miami-Dade Airport.

 Mera is being held in Florida, and police are arranging his transfer back to Mecklenburg County to face the charge.

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 3:38 am  Leave a Comment  

SCP Responds to Report of Suspicious Vehicle

 Stonehaven Community Patrol (SCP) Founder Brian Lutes responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle at 12:37 PM on Saturday January 9, 2010.

 A resident of Wheeler Drive near the entrance to the Rama Swim Club reported via telephone to the SCP (980-297-8446) that a green 4 door vehicle, possibly a Toyota or a Volkswagen Jetta, occupied by a black male driver wearing glasses was pulled off of Wheeler Drive  in the direction of  Charing Place at the entrance  of the Swim Club.

 The Wheeler Dr. resident further reported that they approached  the vehicle and asked the driver what he was doing there and the driver of the vehicle said he was “waiting for someone” and that he lived on Charing Place. The Wheeler Dr. resident went on to report that they returned to their home and looked out their window at the vehicle, the vehicle drove away turning right on Charing Place in the direction of Rama Road.

 SCP Founder Lutes responded to the Charing Pl. / Wheeler Dr. area in a “marked” patrol unit and located a vehicle matching the description of the reported suspicious vehicle at 12:45 PM at the intersection of Charing Pl. & Red Coat Dr. The vehicle was a green 4 door Toyota Avalon.

 Upon making contact with the driver of the vehicle, a black male wearing glasses, and obtaining a NC driver’s license from the driver,  Lutes found that the man is a resident of  Charing Place and that the man was not engaged in criminal activity of any kind.

 Following the interview with the driver of the vehicle, Lutes made contact with the reporting Wheeler Dr. resident to inform them that the vehicle had been located and that the man was a resident of Charing Pl. that did not appear to be engaged in criminal activity.

 Any resident of the greater Stonehaven Area observing suspicious activity, individuals, or vehicles should call the Stonehaven Community Patrol at 980-297-8446.

Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pillows for Soldiers

By Shelley Smith ssmith@salisburypost.com
What began in 2005 as a dream to provide all U.S. veterans, soldiers and fallen soldiers’ families with a pillow of thanks, has become a reality.

Sunday, January 10, 2010 3:00 AM  
Jerry Neuhaus receives his pillow from Pillows for Soldiers founder and president David Busch. Photo by Shelley Smith, Salisbury Post.
James Luther chats with pillow engineer Todd Schaffner and Webmaster David Warner. Luther was one of 500 veterans and active soldiers to recive a pillow Saturday from Pillow for Soldiers. Photo by Shelley Smith, Salisbury Post.

Pillows For Soldiers, a nonprofit organization shipping pillows to individual veterans and soldiers, has made its biggest shipment, and the first stop was the Hefner VA Medical Center.

David Busch, Pillows for Soldiers founder and president, presented the hospital with 500 Snoozer body pillows Saturday.

“We are very proud and honored to be able to do this,” said Busch, who is from Connecticut. “There are 152 VA hospitals in this country, and we’re going to every one of them. Pillows for Soldiers will never end.”

Busch’s vision came to him one night after ordering the same Snoozer pillows to sell at a gym he owned. He called the distributor, Todd Schaffner, and asked him what he thought about the idea, and Schaffner was in.

“I always tell people it was a calling,” Busch said. “It’s not about me, it’s about recognizing the sacrifices that the soldiers make and honoring them.”

Schaffner, a Georgia Tech industrial design graduate, patented the design of the ergonomic body pillow, and it is made in the United States.

“This project really struck a chord with me when David contacted me five years ago,” Schaffner said. “My grandparents were vets, and I knew it’d be a great way to give back.”

Busch said one of the reasons Pillows for Soldiers chose the Hefner VA as the first distribution site was because of the number of remaining World War II veterans.

“They are our greatest generation,” Busch said.

The Web master for Pillows for Soldiers, David Warner, is a veteran who lives across the street from the VA.

“I designed the Web site for David’s gym, and he contacted me about the Pillows for Soldiers site,” Warner said. “It was all by accident. I think that’s the way God does stuff.

“It’s a really fantastic idea, and something that really needed to be done.”

Catherine Smith, who received a pillow Saturday, is a Marine Corps veteran.

“I think it’s great,” she said. “I have a degenerative disc disease and pillows are really important.

“Soldiers develop a lot of arthritic injuries because of the physical demands of the job, and pillows really help.

“Any of the programs that are done for the vets are really needed and really appreciated, especially here.”

James Luther also appreciates the “support.”

“When you take the pillow out of the case, you realize it’s a fantastic, unique pillow,” Luther said. “It’s ideal for all veterans and a great need.”

Luther, a Marine Corps veteran, devotes his time at the Hefner VA as a veterans service officer and the president of the volunteer services executive board.

“There’s a lot of things going on down here,” Luther said. “It’s time for the World War II veterans to pass the torch to the Vietnam vets like me.

“I visit these guys every week. I say, ‘Have wheelchair, will travel.’ I make sure everyone is taken care of. These pillows will help out a lot.”

Homer Robinson, a Vietnam veteran and president of the Rowan County Veterans Council, is excited about the program and wants to volunteer to help it get going.

“It’s going to be a great program,” Robinson said. “The more we get it going, the better off it will be.”

Robert Hintz, currently active in the Army National Guard as a Black Hawk pilot, is thrilled Busch started the pillow program.

“At the end of the day, the soldier lays his head on the pillow — on the ground, in a helicopter, wherever he is — and he knows that he is appreciated and loved,” Hintz said.

“Someone out there cares enough to donate their time and their money to what we’re doing, and it’s a great reminder to us,” said Jerry Neuhaus, who also is an active member of the Army National Guard.

Each pillow features a pillowcase with a label specially designed for Pillows for Soldiers, as well as a thank you note to each recipient. The tag reads, “Bringing comfort to those who protect our freedom. Thank you for your service and God bless America.”

Pillows for Soldiers uses 100 percent of its donations for the purchase and shipment of pillows. Its Web site, http://www.pillowsforsoldiers.com, allows for donations and other special features, such as a toolbar download that honors soldiers and also features a live television you can view while surfing the Web. You can also call 1-888-295-1231.

“For basically a night out to the movies, you can give a pillow to a veteran,” Busch said. “And it’s a gift that will last a lifetime.”

Published in: on January 10, 2010 at 5:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Victim shot dead in southeast Charlotte apartment

By Christopher D. Kirkpatrick
ckirkpatrick@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010

 Police are investigating an early morning shooting death in a vacant apartment on Chasewood Drive in southeast Charlotte.

 The victim was idetified as Kelvin Clark, 29. He was found inside what appeared to be a vacant apartment at 1727 Chasewood Drive just off Monroe Road.

 Charlotte-Mecklenburg police received a call shortly after 2:20 a.m. of an assault with a deadly weapon. They responded and found Clark, who died at the scene from what appeared to be a gunshot wound.

 Anyone with information is asked to call 704-432-TIPS to speak directly to a homicide detective. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on January 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Neighbors fight back after man attacks elderly woman in her own home

by DIANA RUGG / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Diana: DRugg@wcnc.com

 Posted on January 9, 2010 at 11:35 PM

 CHARLOTTE, N.C.– A man with a prison record dating back to the 1970’s has been arrested for attacking an elderly man and woman during a home invasion – and the victims say police caught the man because neighbors got to him first, and beat him up.
 
Alma Caldwell, 81, said she was familiar with the man who attacked her because he would come around sometimes asking for money.  Thursday, she said the man talked his way into Caldwell’s home when a friend answered the door.   Before she knew it, he had grabbed a kitchen knife out of her hand and was using it to threaten her.
 
“He said, ‘I got your knife now’ “– Caldwell held up her hand as if she’s holding a knife — ” ‘I’m gonna kill you.”  The sudden move startled her.  “I was scared to death!”
 
Her friend William Graham, 84, came to her rescue.  Graham had been staying with Caldwell while she was sick.   Caldwell said the man wrestled Graham to the floor and held the knife to him.
 
As the two struggled, Graham said he grabbed the blade of the knife with his left hand.   He held up his hand to show the scar across his finger.
 
“I was holding the knife to keep him from stabbing me,” said Graham. “I didn’t want to get stabbed.”   Graham’s actions allowed Caldwell time to make her move.  She jumped up from her chair — and knocked over a bike that was propped up nearby.  It wasn’t much, but it was enough to startle their attacker.     
 
“He thought I had a gun or something,” she said.
 
The man grabbed about $300 out of Graham’s pocket and ran out the door.    Caldwell said police caught up with the suspect a few hours later — after neighbors caught up with him first.
 
“They beat him up,” said Caldwell — saying her long-time neighbors were upset she and Graham were attacked in their home.
 
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police confirm they arrested Henry Ellis Gainey, 48, after they were called to a disturbance a few blocks from Caldwell’s home.  He was was being beaten by bystanders, and was taken to the hospital for treatment before he was taken to jail. 
 
Police arrested Gainey on an outstanding warrant, but charged him with burglary, robbery, and assault in connection to Caldwell and Graham’s attack.
 
Gainey has a long prison record in North Carolina, dating back to 1978.  He has spent most of the last 30 years in prison, and has been arrested two other times in Mecklenburg County in the last three years.  Jail records show he got out of jail one day before Caldwell’s home invasion.
 
Caldwell and Graham say they’re glad their alleged attacker is back behind bars, and they’re grateful for each other — and the neighbors who look out for them.
 
“We always feel safe together,” said Graham, “and help one another.”

Published in: on January 10, 2010 at 5:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Killings in City Fall to 21-Year Low

Decline in homicides mirrors national trend of fewer violent crimes over the past decade.
By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Ely Portillo
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Sunday, Jan. 03, 2010
  • Police Chief Rodney Monroe speaks at Hawthorne High in September, after two students were killed six weeks apart. TODD SUMLIN – tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

  • Tyiesha Green holds hands with fellow mourners at a December memorial service for homicide victims in Charlotte. Her boyfriend, 19-year-old Ja’Ron McGill, was shot and killed in August while walking home from her house. Behind them, Ja’Ron’s father, James McGill, holds the couple’s 1-month-old son as Charlotte-Mecklenburg homicide Capt. Paul Zinkann places a hand on James’ shoulder. YALONDA M. JAMES – yjames@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte hit an extraordinary milestone in 2009 – recording fewer homicides than it has in 21 years.

The rate of killings is down, too: It appears to be the lowest since police began keeping uniform crime statistics in 1977.

Large cities across the country are reporting declines in homicides, a striking development in light of predictions crime would rise in a bad economy. In fact, the homicide decline is part of a general downward trend nationally in violent crime in the past decade.

In Charlotte-Mecklenburg, 56 people were killed in 2009, down nearly a third from the year before. That was less than half the city’s peak of 122 killings in 1993, when the crack cocaine epidemic made drug violence soar.

Police Chief Rodney Monroe says the city is benefitting from the national trend, but points out that recent declines in violence locally outpace the national average. He attributes that largely to his department’s increased emphasis on patrolling the streets and targeting violent criminals.

“When we go to the scene of a homicide, we go not just with five or six homicide detectives, we go with vice, gang (and assault units)…,” says Monroe, who took over as chief in summer 2008. “It’s a very focused approach. We’re going to target individuals. We’re going to target certain types of crime. And I believe we can have a certain impact.”

Criminologists and social scientists say violent crimes – particularly homicides – are impulsive acts, and it’s unclear how much impact policing can have. The decline is likely due to a variety of societal changes, they say.

“It’s not just a (one) city trend. … It’s happened in so many places, and that leads you to think that it’s got to be social,” says Barry Krisberg, a criminologist at the University of California at Berkeley and former head of a national crime analysis and prevention center.

“If you’re seeing drops all over the place,” he says, “it can’t be just because of policy or operations.”

New York was on track for a record low number of killings in 2009.

In the first half of that year, compared with the year before, homicides fell in Raleigh by 55 percent, in Los Angeles by 29 percent, in Atlanta by 14 percent, in Chicago by 11.8 percent, and in Boston by 10.3 percent. They rose in Detroit by 11.6 percent, in Baltimore by 9.5 percent and in New Orleans by 3.2 percent.

Criminologists advance a range of theories for decreasing violence: Improved policing techniques, more prisons, better rehabilitation, better emergency medicine, housing policies that lower the concentration of people in poor, crime-ridden areas, and an influx of immigrants who tend to keep a low profile.

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx agrees there is a complex mix of social and civic factors bringing down violence. But he sees three crucial ingredients in Charlotte’s success: City leadership, the police department and involved residents.

“It’s obviously much more comprehensive than just the police force,” Foxx says. “But that’s where our presence is felt, and that’s where we’ve tried to make a huge impact, particularly over the last couple of years.”

Since Monroe arrived in Charlotte, the city has added 175 police officers and shifted $2.2 million to cover cost overruns and a reorganization of the department.

Monroe hails the work of his new 12-member Assault With a Deadly Weapon squad, which aims to take assailants off the streets before violence escalates. The courts, he says, may free a number of them from jail, but at least they know police are watching – which may alter their behavior.

Monroe also cites officers’ increased autonomy to decide which crimes most plague their areas, then design a strategy to attack them.

Although official crime tallies aren’t yet available, Charlotte-Mecklenburg is on track to report a 21 percent decline in violent crime and an 18.7 percent drop in property crime for 2009, compared with the previous year.

An official homicide rate per 100,000 residents won’t be known until police calculate final crime and population figures later this month. But if last year’s population mirrors that of 2008 figures, the department will likely report the lowest homicide rate since it began its current record system in 1977.

Not only did homicides drop, Charlotte investigators made arrests in a higher percentage of killings.

“We like to think that, yeah, scientific evidence is what’s being used to close these cases,” says Monroe. “(But) nine times out of 10, it’s someone giving us something – a nickname, one piece of information.”

Taking a toll

Despite the success, civic leaders say Charlotte should take notice of the impact of last year’s killings.

“Our entire community has got to get more engaged on the mentoring front,” says Mayor Foxx. “There are too many young people growing up without a core belief in a positive lifestyle. You don’t just wake up one morning and move into a high-risk lifestyle.”

Virtually all of the 2009 killings happened inside the Interstate 485 loop, primarily west and east of the city’s center.

The killings claimed an 83-year-old great-grandmother and a 6-day-old infant. African-Americans made up the vast majority of murder victims. And one school, Hawthorne High in East Charlotte, was hit particularly hard, losing two students in separate killings.

“We still haven’t dealt with the issues of disparity that lead to that crime …,” says Patrick Graham, who heads the National Urban League of Central Carolinas. “There’s anger and there’s also a sadness. And you have to try really hard to keep from having a feeling of hopelessness.”

Among other 2009 homicide trends:

Eighty percent of people killed were black – a higher proportion than last year. Hispanics made up 5 percent of victims. Four victims (about 7percent) were white.

Eight teens and children were killed, half as many – and a smaller proportion – than last year.

Domestic-related killings made up a slightly smaller share of homicides, with seven (about 12.5 percent) classified as slayings committed by spouses or significant others.

“As tragic as these lives that are lost are, we don’t have a clue how many (people) are functioning, living in fear, that haven’t gotten to this point,” says Mike Sexton, who heads the Mecklenburg County Women’s Commission.

A spike on the west side

Just one of the city’s 13 patrol divisions saw a significant spike in homicides. The Freedom Division recorded nine in 2009, up from just two the year before.

The division begins near the airport – west of the city’s traditionally troubled inner-city neighborhoods – and stretches west to the county line. It contains a mix of aging bungalows, industrial buildings, high-poverty neighborhoods and recently built starter homes hit hard by foreclosures.

Freedom police commanders aren’t sure why homicides climbed in their division. On a recent drive through her territory, Sgt. Lisa Carriker said one contributor may be the influx and clustering of more impoverished families pushed out of the inner-city by new development.

But she also said simply: Murder is unpredictable.

“Homicide is one of our hardest crimes to impact,” Carriker said. “Our robberies have been down, our aggravated assaults have been down. It’s just that when (assaults) have gone bad, they’ve gone spectacularly bad.”

One family’s grief

James McGill and his family take little solace in Charlotte’s falling crime.

His 19-year-old son, Ja’Ron, was the 30th person killed last year.

Ja’Ron had recently enrolled at Hawthorne High School. Determined to graduate, he was looking forward to the beginning of classes. He played drums in his church band and was excited to have a baby on the way.

On the night of Aug. 2, Ja’Ron went to visit his girlfriend. On his way home, something happened. Police know little, but residents of his northeast Charlotte neighborhood found Ja’Ron just before midnight lying in the intersection of Lanecrest Drive and Colby Place, shot in the stomach. He held on for a few hours, but doctors couldn’t save him.

Nobody has been charged in the crime.

Six weeks later, hundreds of Hawthorne High School students held a memorial. A featured speaker was Chief Monroe – whose own sister was murdered in a domestic dispute seven years ago.

This fall, Ja’Ron McGill II was born.

At Christmas, the family sought comfort in the company of others who have also lost loved ones to homicide. They shared testimonies, read poems and clasped hands in prayer.

James McGill cradled his newborn grandson on his lap.

“I look at him and sometimes I just tear up,” says James McGill. “I have to explain to him, when the time comes, where his daddy is.”

Published in: on January 8, 2010 at 7:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Girl’s Report Heightens Police Patrols

By Steve Lyttle
slyttle@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Friday, Jan. 08, 2010

 Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they stepped up patrols Friday in south Charlotte, after a 12-year-old girl reported Thursday that a man exposed himself to her and tried to convince her to get into his car.

 The incident was reported about 7:30 a.m. Thursday at Seneca Place near Baker Drive, where the girl was waiting for a bus to take her to Sedgefield Middle School.

 Police say the girl told a school resource officer that a man in a car pulled up to the stop, exposed himself, and was fondling himself. The man also made inappropriate comments to the girl, she told police.

 The student said the man drove off, but returned a short time later, asking the girl if she wanted to “go for a ride with him.” The man opened his car door and began to step out, the girl said, but he closed the door and sped off. Police theorize the man might have been scared off by an approaching vehicle.

 A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools spokeswoman said school officials sent an automated phone message to parents Thursday, telling them of the incident.

Published in: on January 8, 2010 at 7:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
%d bloggers like this: