Updated 09/10/2012 10:33 PM
Attempted abduction reported in Town of Newburgh
Two days after City of Newburgh police received false reports of a child abduction, setting off Amber Alerts across the state, Town of Newburgh police began investigating an eerily similar situation. YNN's John Wagner has more.
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NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- "The little girl did the right thing. She kicked the guy in the groin, the guy went down and she saved her sister's life," said Jose Sanabria, a neighbor to a reported attempted abduction.
A near tragedy avoided, according to two sisters, five- and seven-years-old. Town of Newburgh police say they received reports Friday that the two girls were picking flowers in a backyard when a man grabbed the younger sister by her neck, trying to abduct her. After screams and kicks, he drove away.
"We're treating it as if this happened," said Town of Newburgh Police Chief Michael Clancy. "We have to take this very seriously, we don't have any choice."
Last week, a group of kids in the City of Newburgh claimed a girl was abducted in a dark pickup truck, before police determined the reports were false. Days later, a dark pickup truck is the getaway vehicle again in a purportedly failed kidnapping on a quiet dead end street off Route 17K.
"It's frightening, but again, that was in the City of Newburgh and compared to the Town of Newburgh, it's night and day," said neighbor Ueral Watson.
"Dealing with children can be a little bit of a problem," said Chief Clancy. "Sometimes they hold back information. Sometimes it turns out to be incorrect."
Town of Newburgh Police say they must do their due diligence. While they don't have any evidence to back up the claims, they also don't have anything to refute them. They are interviewing potential witnesses and checking surveillance video to see if any clues emerge.
"It's scary, ‘specially happening during the day," said Thomas Boyd, another nearby neighbor. "I have granddaughters that walk at night, then you hear something happening like that."
"The neighborhood is changing a lot. It's getting overpopulated," said Sanabria. "There's a couple bad apples out there. It's scary to know that it was close to home."
Police are asking anyone with information to call them at (845) 564-1100.
"If these reports are true, we have a very serious situation here and there's somebody out there that could pose a risk to somebody else," said Chief Clancy.