June 25, 2018
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Houlton police searching for man after suspicious incident with local boy

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

HOULTON, Maine — Police in Houlton were still working Thursday evening to identify a man who approached a 12-year-old boy at an after-school facility and allegedly tried to lure him into his vehicle.

Police Chief Butch Asselin said the incident happened around 3 p.m. Wednesday inside the Gentle Memorial Building, which is a popular after-school hangout for local youth. The facility offers after-school programs and features a basketball court, game room and other activities.

The incident was witnessed by others in the facility.

According to Asselin, employees called police after the man, described as a 5-foot-10-inch white male who was heavyset and balding, approached the boy and told him that his father had sent him to pick him up. The man was wearing an S.W. Collins Co. baseball cap, a gray sweatshirt, work boots and a black jacket.

The juvenile didn’t know the man, so he walked away.

The man then left without further incident.

Asselin said that police are taking the matter seriously and are using every resource available to identify the person involved. Police are reviewing video from security cameras at the building to draft a composite of the individual. A statewide bulletin will be sent to other law enforcement agencies to see whether they have investi-gated recent cases of a similar nature.

Asselin credited the parents of the boy for teaching him to report suspicious behavior to adults and to collect descriptions.

Just the day before, Asselin said Thursday, the department received a complaint of a suspicious red Dodge Caravan at Community Park. The operator of the vehicle appeared to be watching the children. Police have the registration number of the vehicle and have identified the owner. At this time, it is unknown whether the two incidents are related, but police are continuing their investigation.

Any resident who was at or near the Gentle Memorial Building between 3 and 4 p.m. is encouraged to contact the Police Department at 532-2287 with any information.

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