Police beef up presence at Clayton school after girls report men tried to lure them into car

wwny Police beef up presence at Clayton school after girls report men tried to lure them into car

CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - Clayton village police are investigating a report that two men tried to lure two girls into their car near Guardino Elementary School Monday.

Chief Kevin Patenaude said there will be an increased police presence at the school during dismissal Tuesday afternoon.

He said the girls, who are sisters in the first and fifth grades, were walking Monday afternoon on James Street just off school grounds when a dark-colored sedan drove up to them.

Patenaude said two young white men, possibly high school age, asked the girls to get in their car and offered them candy.

“The girls did exactly what they ought to do - they turned around and ran to a house that happened to belong to a relative and they had safe haven there,” he said.

He said the girls’ mother notified police.

“I informed the mother we would have a police presences up at the school during dismissal and that we would be vigilantly watching for this vehicle or any threats to any students or to any other person because that is our duty. We need to take every one of these things as a serious threat,” the chief said.

Patenaude said the school district's superintendent was also notified.

The chief said police will continue their increased presence at the school until the suspects are caught.

“I’m surprised that this kind of incident happened in this community, but there again, I am not surprised because we live in different times,” he said.

Thousand Islands Central School District Superintendent Michael Bashaw said, “While situations such as these always heighten anxiety in our communities, they also give us the opportunity to have meaningful conversations between our families, the school and the larger community. This event was particularly concerning as it took place near the school. Kudos to the students who knew, and did the right thing right away without hesitation, and thank you to our law enforcement partners for their work on the situation, and their increased monitoring of our school campus.”

If you have any information about the incident, call Clayton police at 315-686-5592.

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