BELFAST, Maine — Police say they have closed the case concerning a man they thought had been trying to lure young boys away from Belfast City Park Pool last month.
Chief Mike McFadden of the Belfast Police Department said Wednesday that Maine investigators did learn the man’s identity thanks to a tip, but police will not be filing any criminal charges against him or releasing his name to the public. The man was vacationing in Belfast from New York, and both he and his wife were interviewed Monday by the New York State Police about the alleged incident on Aug. 13 in Belfast, the chief said.
“Although his behavior was concerning, and odd, and suspicious, it did not meet the threshold for a criminal charge,” McFadden said. “I spoke with the New York detective today. He agreed 100 percent that the situation needed to be looked into.”
In August, Belfast police reached out to the public asking for help finding the man who they said reportedly had tried to lure two young boys away from the pool. The man had gone to the pool to find out when lap swim would be and then struck up a conversation with one of the boys, who was spotted by his teenage baby sitter a short time later a substantial distance from the pool in the man’s company, McFadden said in August. The girl ran to fetch her charge, and she later told the boy’s grandfather what had happened. He came forward to police to make a report, and computer crimes specialists later were able to recover Snapchat photos of the man from the baby sitter’s phone.
McFadden said that shortly after the incident with the first child, the man was believed to have returned to the pool and started talking to another boy, who did not leave the pool area.
“Obviously, this is of great concern to us,” the chief said then.
But the New York police detective “really thought this guy had no sinister motives,” McFadden said. “I’m relieved that it’s turned out this way.”
The man does not have a criminal record, McFadden said. He added that given the circumstances, trying to find him and talk to him was the right thing to do.
“In a situation like what we were dealing with, it’s a no-brainer,” he said. “You’ve got to look into it.”