POLICE BOOST PATROLS AROUND MERRICK, BELLMORE SCHOOLS
Nassau police have stepped up patrols around schools in Merrick and Bellmore after ninereports so far this month of men approaching or following children as they walked or biked to andfrom schools. Authorities said more than one person may be involved but suspect one man isresponsible for the majority of the occurrences. Police released a drawing of a man whom theysaid is a person of interest in several of the incidents, including one April 10 inBellmore. He is described as in his late 30s with a mustache and bushy hair and last seenwearing a dark jacket and dark blue jeans. This same man is believed to have approachedchildren in other incidents using a dark green four-door sedan. The first incident occurredon April 3 when a man driving a white pickup truck approached a 14 year old girl and her friend asthey were walking home from school near Beltagh and Jefferson avenues in Bellmore. Policesaid the man may have photographed the girls using his cellphone. The most recent incidentoccurred Friday. An eighth-grade student was walking to Merrick Avenue Middle School about7:45 am when a man on foot approached the youngster at the corner of Merrick Avenue and SmithStreet, half a block from the elementary school. The man spoke to the student in Spanish andattempted to grab him by the arm but failed to make physical contact.