Community news

Superintendent informs community of ‘stranger incidents’


Two North Merrick students’ interactions with strangers led to police reports this week, according to an email that John DeTommaso, superintendent of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, sent to parents of district students on Sept. 11.

A Camp Avenue School student said an older man driving a red car approached her at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday on Kensington Avenue and asked for her help locating a lost dog, according to DeTommaso’s email.

“Wisely, the student quickly ran to her home with no further incident,” DeTommaso said. “A police report was filed.”

He wrote that in a separate incident, a Calhoun High School student said a man in his mid-20s driving a white minivan was following her at 3:10 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Thelma Avenue and Murray Place.

“After recognizing that she was being followed, the student turned and ran in the opposite direction … and she proceeded to her house unharmed,” DeTommaso said. “The parents have notified the police.”

The superintendent said he has talked to the supervisors of the Nassau County Police Department’s First Precinct, which is based in Baldwin and covers North Merrick, and the Seventh Precinct, which is based in Seaford and covers South Merrick, and received assurances that both precincts “are doing all they can to help keep our students safe.” Each precinct promised to add more “sector cars and ‘directed’ patrols in and around all the schools in the Bellmores and Merricks,” DeTommaso said. “They will be especially visible during arrival and dismissal times.”

DeTommaso concluded with a request that parents talk to their children about basic safety protocols to follow if they are approached or accosted by a stranger.