Reassuring Update - Central Square Incident

Cambridge Police Investigating Two Separate Cases Involving Young Women Approached by Strangers
Posted on 02/14/2019

Cambridge police have issued an update on the troubling incident that occurred on February 14 near Central Square. Police have made an arrest in the case. You can read their update and safety tips for children on the tip411 website >>

As an added safety measure, CPS is sharing the following alert from the Cambridge Police Department. You can read their full statement On the Tip411 Website.

Questions regarding this alert should be directed to email us | 617.349.3237.

The Cambridge Police Department wants to inform the community that it is actively investigating and seeking to identify suspects from two separate incidents, in which young women were reportedly approached by strangers in Cambridge.

Last night, two sisters (who are pre-teenagers) were walking home together at approximately 5:15-5:30 p.m. and were reportedly approached by a man they had not seen before in the area of Pleasant Street and Auburn Street. The suspect asked for directions and grabbed one of the sisters by the arm. He then proceeded to walk with the sisters down several streets and then stopped at what was believed to be Salem Street. After asking the sisters if they wanted to go down an alley with him, the sisters said no, the suspect stated he was sorry and he then removed his hands from one of the sisters. They both then ran towards their home. The suspect was described as a black male, approximately 40-50 years old, approximately 5’8”. He reportedly smelled of alcohol and was wearing a black jacket and beanie hat.

Separately, a mother of a 17-year-old daughter, reported yesterday that on February 3rd an unknown man had followed her daughter home from Central Square. The same man reportedly attempted to approach her daughter a year ago at her work and while she was walking home from school. He was described as a white or light-skinned male with a noticeable scar on his head. He is also bald and drives a black motor vehicle.

The Cambridge Police are actively investigating both of these incidents. Extra patrols and a non-uniformed presence has been deployed to the areas on these incidents and the Department is working closely with the families and school department with each of these incidents.

Anyone with any information related to these ongoing investigations are asked to call Cambridge Police at 617.349.3300. Those who wish to provide information anonymously may dial the Cambridge Police Anonymous Crime Tip Hotline at 617.349.3359 and leave a message. Anonymous tips may also be sent via the Cambridge Police MyPD mobile app or via text message to 847411. Begin your text with TIP650 and then type your message. Click here to send anonymous tips via email.

The National Crime Prevention Council recommends several tips on talking to children about strangers:

  • Explain to your child that a stranger is anyone who your family doesn’t know well. It is common for children to think that “bad strangers” look scary, which is not only untrue, but dangerous for children to think this way. Tell your child that no one can tell if strangers are nice or not nice just by looking at them, and they should be careful around all people they don’t know.

  • Don’t make it seem like all strangers are bad. Teach your child about safe strangers and adults they can trust — police officers, firefighters, teachers, principals and librarians. Also show your child places they can go if they need help, such as local stores, restaurants and the homes of family friends in your neighborhood.

  • Teach your child to be wary of potentially dangerous situations and the warning signs of suspicious behavior, like when an adult asks them to disobey their parents or do something without their permission, asks them to keep a secret, asks children for help, or makes them feel uncomfortable in any way.

  • Talk to your children about how they should handle potentially dangerous situations. You can use the “No, Go, Yell, Tell,” saying, which teaches children to say no, run away, yell as loud as they can, and tell a trusted adult what happened right away if they feel threatened by a stranger.

In addition to teaching children how to recognize and handle dangerous situations and strangers, there are other things that parents can do to help their children stay safe:

  • Know where your children are at all times. Make it a rule that children must ask permission or check in with you before going anywhere. Give your children both your work and cell phone numbers so they can reach you at all times.
  • Point out safe places. Show your children safe places to play, safe roads and paths to take and safe places to go if there’s trouble.
  • Teach children to trust their instincts. Explain that if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable, they should get away as fast as they can and tell an adult. Tell them that sometimes adults they know may make them feel uncomfortable, and they should still get away and tell another adult what happened. Reassure your child that you will always help them when they need it.
  • Teach your children to be assertive. Make sure they know that it’s okay to say no to an adult and to run away from adults in dangerous situations.
  • Encourage your children to play with others. There is safety in numbers.

For more resources and information about talking to your children about strangers, visit the National Crime Prevention Council website.

Questions regarding this alert should be directed to / 617-349-3237.

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