The last several weeks in the affluent area of Bergen County, N.J. were not as festive as they have been in recent years. Reports of a middle aged man in a black SUV soliciting young, middle school age girls for sexual favors in exchange for money swept the area. There were 5 incidents in as many towns over the course of a few weeks.
The police reports were as follows:
■ On October 16th, Montvale, NJ a white male in his mid 40's approached a middle school aged girl and propositioned her with a unintelligible sentence, but the girl immediately responded, “NO!” and ran to her house up the road. The vehicle left the area. The victim further described him as having a very dark beard with parts having more “stubble” than thick hair, and that he was wearing dark sunglasses. She described the vehicle as being a black, freshly washed, new looking Infinity with a yellow license plate.
■ On October 25, 2011, at approximately 3:25 p.m., Allendale Police Department had a similar Child Luring incident on Dale Avenue, near West Orchard Street. The driver was described as a white male, 30 yrs. old with dark, short hair and driving a black SUV.
■ On November 7, 2011 at approximately 3:25 p.m., an 11 year old female was walking home from school in the area of Akers Avenue and Highland Rd. in Montvale N.J., when she was approached by a black, newer model SUV. It was operated by a white male, in his 40's thin build, scruffy beard and wearing sun glasses. The driver offered the female $1,000 for sexual favors. She screamed and ran home. Suspect vehicle fled south on Akers Ave. toward West Grand Avenue. The suspect and the mention of $1000 for a sexual favor were in common with the incident in Montvale.
Any law enforcement agencies in the Bergen County, and Rockland County, NY areas that have similar unsolved Child Luring incidents, are urged to contact Detective XXXXXX XXXXXX of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit at 201-XXX-XXXX.
Fortunately, on December 7th, the man suspected of luring in all five instances was picked up. 26 year old Shahan Achian a local man, was picked up at the home of his parents house in Upper Saddle River, N.J.
After the arrest the area breathed a collective sigh of relief and turned their attention back to Christmas Shopping. But wait there's more....
It's not the movies and the bad guy doesn't always get his comeuppance. Shortly after the arrest, Daddy posted bail (he's out) and he will probably only get probation, some therapy and a life time Meagan's Law registration.
In reality, he only "attempted" to lure the girls into his car and never even tried to abduct or physically touch them. This means he's back out on the street with another opportunity to do it smarter and better. Seriously, do you think he's going to stop? Now he knows he just can't go out and solicit girls at random from his car. He will either get more cunning or more brazen. His sickness is only going to get worse and if he's not smart, he will use brute force.
Bottom line is you need to take care of yourself, period. The police can't be everywhere and at some point your kid is going to be on their own. If there are two things to learn from this by looking over the police reports is that all the kids survived because they ran away before he got too close and second is that all of the kids make poor witnesses. Now if you had to make a choice between getting a good description and getting away...teach your kids to just escape. In the Family Safe Program kids learn one thing- no adult should ever ask you for anything, especially in the 11 to 14 year old range when kids can be asked for directions or offered money to load packages into a vehicle.
Your kids need to be educated and told what to do and you can do this without scaring the crap out of them. Just be a matter of fact about it. In the Family Safe Program we use specific language that gets the seriousness of the subject matter across, without traumatizing them. Listen, you taught them to swim and they understand the concept of drowning, so you can teach them to operate in the world, with understanding the responsibilities and dangers that exist.
The threat of older predators has always existed. The two major differences between then and now is that we get information so quickly. In the past we would have never known about a guy hitting several towns over the course of a few weeks but thanks to the web and facebook we can communicate information (both good and bad) at an alarming rate. The other change is the down side. Sick perverts can now connect with other sick perverts to help justify their behavior. They also exchange photos, videos and stories. And of course they become more educated about how to satisfy their needs without getting caught. As screwed up as it is, just as there are self defense forums and forums about pottery, there are chat groups for just about every sick and twisted mind out there. As the government shuts one down another pops up.
The conclusion is a cold and obvious one, it's up to you to take care of the ones you care about. The truth is there will always be scumbags like this and there will always people who will ignore the fact that violence and danger exists. They will choose not to do something about it and hang on hope, play the odds and pray that no harm comes to them.
In a perfect world we would all train, prepare and leave no outlet for the sick, twisted and perverted. A perfect world where we would all stay in shape, be healthy and live to a ripe old age where upon the first day we crap ourselves, we fall over and die. Until that day, there will always be criminals and victims for them to target. At least now you can make a choice to be part of the solution or fodder for the demented.
Damian Ross, CEO The Self Defense Company
Damian Ross is CEO of the Self Defense Company and developer of The Self Defense Training System, the most lethal and effective self defense system in the world, The Guardian Defensive Tactics Police Combatives Program, 60 minute Self Defense and the Family Safe Program. Mr. Ross also founded the Self Defense Instructor Program that helps people develop their self defense careers from the ground up. Mr. Ross is originally from Ridgewood, NJ where he was a High School Hall of Fame Athlete in football and wrestling as well as a varsity wrestling coach. He then went on to Lehigh University where he was a varsity wrestler and football player. Mr. Ross has 3 black belts, 4th Degree in Tekkenryu Jujutsu, 2nd Degree in Judo, 2nd Degree in Tae Kwon Do. In addition to his martial arts experience, Mr; Ross spent 8 years in the professional security and personal protection business. He is internationally recognized as one of the foremost authorities in reality based self defense.