Suffolk abduction triggers need to advise kids about potential predators

This week's headline about a Bay Shore man being arrested for allegedly abducting two teens brings to mind for many parents how to talk about such subjects so that their kids can stay safe.

News 12 Staff

Feb 6, 2021, 3:23 AM

Updated 1,264 days ago

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This week's headline about a Bay Shore man being arrested for allegedly abducting two teens brings to mind for many parents how to talk about such subjects so that their kids can stay safe.
Police say Donald Cristiano Jr. offered teens in Lindenhurst a ride to the library under the guise that he was a police officer. Once they arrived, he told one of the teens to get out so he could talk to the other girl, a 14-year-old. But he then took off.
The teen was able to escape, and both are OK. But the story still weighs heavy on many family's minds.
"There are stories, so many, of people who aren't found for a long time," says Jennifer Hallock, of Hauppauge.
Hallock says she always made sure to tell her kids that there are some people who might not want the best for them and could hurt them.
"I told my children never to speak with strangers," says Hallock. "I told them to immediately call me or 911 on your cellphone."
It's good advice, says Laura Ahearn of Parents for Megan's Law, but there's more to remember.
"Don't teach your children stranger danger. Teach your children that they have to check first before getting into a vehicle with anyone, including a police officer," says Ahearn. "A police officer is not going to pull up to a child and offer them a ride to the library."
Angela Pavolovic, of Hauppauge, says her 7-year-old knows that advice well.
Police always say to scream "Help" as loud as you can or to punch, kick, bite, scratch or do anything to try and get away.


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