Police: 2 men accused of endangering welfare of children

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PLAINVIEW -

Two men are facing charges after police say several children who weren't properly dressed were discovered out alone on a cold night selling candy and cookies.

Nassau police say an 11-year-old girl was found selling the items by herself in front of a Starbucks in Plainview Sunday night. She was among at least eight children who were found, and they were not dressed in warm enough clothing to be out in the dropping temperatures.

The kids were allegedly making money for a charity group called the New York Youth Club.

Police say Jamainne Hall, of West Hempstead, and Kavon Thompson, of Rosedale, are being charged with endangering the welfare of the children in connection to the case.

Scott Druker, an attorney representing Hall and the New York Youth Club, says he's had cases like this in the past, but says the organization is meant to help at-risk youth. He says it's a legitimate organization.

"They operate all over the state of New York. The only jurisdiction they've ever had any problem is Nassau County," he says "And it's been endangerment charges for the supervisors. And every single one of those cases has been dismissed outright. And I anticipate the same in this case, it's no different."

Druker calls the case a misunderstanding.

"They grow up in bad neighborhoods and their only choices really are gang violence and the sale of drugs. What happens is, they give them an alternative to go door to door selling candy to raise funds," the attorney says. "Some people don't like when kids knock on their door and they call the police and sometimes the police respond and go over the top."

Hall and Thompson were arraigned Monday, and their bail was set at $2,000 and $3,000 respectively.

Both men are expected back in court on Oct. 17.

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