UPDATE: Elderly man charged for harassment

June 13, 2009 12:45:00 PM PDT
New Castle County Police have arrested James P. Ward, an 81-year-old male of Miles Road in Claymont, DE. He has been charged with harassing an 11-year-old girl who he attempted to lure into his car last week in Claymont, Delaware.

It happened around 2:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon on Green Street near the Claymont Library in Claymont.

The girl tells police she was walking and passed a dark colored, older model SUV. As she passed, she says an elderly white man came out of the driver's side, holding a cane, and not walking very well.

Police say the man approached the girl and asked if she would go with him in his SUV to visit his granddaughter. When the girl replied by saying she does not talk to or go with strangers, the subject offered her a bag of candy and held out a package of treats. He continued by reassuring the girl that it was okay and they would not tell anyone.

While the man was trying to convince her to get into the vehicle, the victim observed a second subject sitting inside whose face was covered by a hooded sweatshirt. Investigators say the victim then ran off as the elderly man started to slowly move toward her.

The victim's mother called and reported this incident about five hours later. Police say the girl did not initially report this incident to her mother for several hours because she was scared and wanted to forget the entire incident.

Police remind parents to speak to their children about the dangers of this type of stranger contact and to also make sure their children tell a responsible adult immediately.

James P. Ward was arrested on Friday afternoon and charged with harassment. He has been arraigned and released on $1,000 unsecured bail. He was also ordered to have no contact with the victim.

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