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SB 29 issues warning: Driver menaces kids

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School Board 29 has sent a warning letter to parents of children at PS 156 and PS 176 about a man in a four-wheel-drive vehicle who is trying to convince children to get into his car.

According to Leroy Comrie, president of School Board 29, the incidents happened Jan. 31 at PS 156 at 229-02 137th Ave. in Springfield Gardens and Feb. 3 at PS 176, 120-25 235th St. in Cambria Heights. He said the man tried to lure elementary school age girls into his car by offering them a ride home.

Comrie said the man grabbed one girl and pulled her into his car, but she jumped out through the opposite door.

Police were not able to release a description of the suspect.

The procedure in this type of incident is to send letters to the parents of the schools' students to let them know about the problem and to explain what parents need to tell their children about what has happened, he said.

Comrie urged parents during last Thursday's school board meeting to request that their Parent/Teacher Associations encourage their members to volunteer as crossing, security or watch guards.

School District 29 covers the southeastern Queens neighborhoods of Queens Village, Cambria Heights, Hollis, Springfield Gardens and St. Albans.

Comrie said the schools could use more paid security and volunteers during their dismissal times because teachers are no longer required to work during the period when children leave school.

"It makes a difference if there are more people out monitoring what is going on," he said. "The problem is that some schools only have one security guard."

Detective Nate Vincent, a police spokeswoman from the 105th precinct, said there would be a greater police presence during dismissal times at the schools.

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