No Arrests Made in West Long Branch Suspicious Incident

Police say March 21 incident is still under investigation


The West Long Branch Police have not made any arrests in connection with the that occurred last week in the borough.

The incident happenned in the area of Heidl Avenue near Golf Street where a white male subject approached a young girl near her school bus stop on the morning of March 21.

The West Long Branch Police reported that the subject was a tall white male wearing a hood or hat and all black clothing driving a dark-colored car.

The Eatontown Police sent out a Code Red Alert message last week stating that a similar incident occurred in Eatontown near the Stony Hill Apartments when a young girl was walking to school.

Neither child was injured in the incidents.

The Tinton Falls Police sent out a Code Red Alert today as well, warning residents to keep an eye out for any similar incidents in the borough.

Today, the West Long Branch Police issued the following release to put some rumors about the incident to rest and to give the public information about what they should do if they see any suspicious activity near schools or school bus stops:

The incident last week involving a suspicious person near a bus stop in West Long Branch has led to considerable rumor and some embellishment of the facts. While this is somewhat normal, especially when an incident involves a child, there is an important lesson to be learned here. The community should always be on alert for suspicious behavior and report it to the police immediately. We should never wait for a tragedy to heighten our awareness or willingness to get involved.

The fact is that since last week there has only been one other reported suspicious incident which was not immediately able to be confirmed. Stories have circulated that children have been chased, grabbed and even abducted by a wide range of suspects. None of these stories are true. Detectives from the WLBPD as well as other agencies have taken the incident very seriously and are working diligently to identify the person involved in the encounter from Wednesday, March 21.  No arrests have been made.

People with camera equipped cell phones are encouraged to use them to capture images of suspicious incidents, persons and vehicles. Remember to NEVER attempt to take a photo while driving. Images should be forwarded directly to law enforcement for investigation, NOT posted on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and My Space. Doing so exposes witnesses and victims to potentially damaging public scrutiny and possible litigation. The West Long Branch Police Department maintains its own Facebook page and Twitter account so that public broadcasts can be made using those means.

The West Long Branch Police Department is active and aggressive in protecting the community as a whole and especially schools and areas where children gather. The WLBPD routinely assigns escorts to school buses on their routes and has done so since before 2006. This is done in a way so as to diminish the chances of a predictable pattern and is not always apparent. The tactical deployment of specially trained and equipped officers is also conducted during times of the congregation of children and the evacuation of buildings such as during fire drills. The details of this program are not made public other than a statement that what you see officers doing will continue in a manner overt enough to discourage confrontations or victimization.

Finally, the West Long Branch Police Department maintains a tips line for anonymous reports (732-403-3500), e-mail address (police@westlongbranch.org), web site (www.westlongbranchpolice.com), Facebook page (facebook.com/westlongbranchpolice) and a Twitter account (WLBPD), all of which enhance the channels of communication with the community.


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