WILKES-BARRE — Reports of a bloody assault and an attempted abduction at a park in Luzerne County have some parents concerned.
Police in Wilkes-Barre say someone tried luring three boys Saturday night along a sidewalk outside an elementary school. One day earlier, police say a 14-year-old was attacked and robbed of his cell phone and iPad just down the block at Miner Park.
No arrests have been made and police haven’t said if these incidents are connected.
Some parents who live on Old River Road or drop their kids off there say they’re worried that children are being targeted
People who live near Miner Park in Wilkes-Barre say they’re seeing more problems and fewer kids shooting hoops or playing on the swings.
“Kids like to go over to the park and enjoy themselves, especially with the springtime coming. It does bother me, absolutely,” said Andrea Grendzinski of Shavertown.
The babysitter for Andrea Grendzinski’s 3-year-old daughter lives on Old River Road just down the block. Wilkes-Barre Police say a man in a ski mask tried grabbing a boy outside Kistler Elementary School Saturday night. When that boy got away, officers say the man tried grabbing two other boys. They also got away and all are unhurt. Police say the man was last seen running toward the train tracks behind Miner Park.
The day before, around 3 p.m. Friday police say a man punched a 14 -year-old boy by the swing set at Miner Park and stole his cell phone and an iPad. Investigators say that crime was caught on a surveillance camera. The boy, who is a student at Meyers Junior High School was treated at the hospital for a bloody nose and swelling to his forehead.
People who live nearby say problems at Miner Park are nothing new but the latest report of an attempted abduction over the weekend, near Kistler Elementary School, as well as Meyers High School and a daycare has them worried.
“People just parking their cars, leaving. A lot of little kids that their parents are not even with them. It’s scary because something might happen and nobody ‘s here,” said Sandy Tlaseca of Wilkes-Barre.
“I see like 8, 9 year olds walking down the streets by themselves. I’m not saying it’s bad parenting but I definitely think that some parents should watch their children a little bit more than what they do,” Grendzinski added.
The superintendent of the Wilkes-Barre Area School District says letters were sent out Monday to parents of students at Kistler Elementary, warning them about these latest crimes and the safety precautions students should take when walking to school.