A suspect was arrested after reports of a man allegedly using his dogs to lure young girls in Brooklyn, sexually attacking at least one of them, law enforcement sources with knowledge of the case told News 4 Tuesday.
The NYPD identified their prime suspect in the Brownsville cases as 25-year-old Brandon Rodriguez, and it was later confirmed that he had been arrested. Rodriguez was charged with two counts of acting in a manner injurious to a child, and a count of unlawful imprisonment. Attorney information for Rodriguez was not immediately made available.
Rodriguez has been arrested twice previously for rape, police said. Tuesday's arrest comes after a local school put out a warning to parents about the apparent child predator terrorizing their neighborhood.
The suspect allegedly attempted to use the ploy on three middle school-aged girls in the neighborhood last month, according to the local school district and police. In the first incident, he approached a 13-year-old girl near the corner of Pitkin Avenue and Osborn Street while he was walking his dogs, police said.
He asked the girl to help him take a picture of him and the dogs and told her to follow him inside a nearby building so he could grab his camera. The girl followed him in, and police said that's where he touched her inappropriately.
Police said the attacker prevented the girl from leaving by taking her backpack and putting one of the dogs by the doorway of the building. The victim managed to get away with the help of a friend who called out to her, according to police, and the suspect fled.
He tried the same thing the very next day, on two different occasions, authorities said. The first time was with a 12-year-old girl on Christopher Avenue in front of a school, and then again an hour later with an 11-year-old near the intersection of Pitkin Avenue and Watkins Street.
He allegedly tried to use the dog ploy on both girls, police said, but both got scared and ran off, never following him into the apartment building.
All three incidents occurred before school started in the morning. Local school officials were so alarmed they sent notes home to parents, warning them to be on the lookout for the suspect.
Police also made an arrest Tuesday in a different alleged child luring case in Brooklyn. Boris Bargrum was arrested and charged with child endangerment after the 77-year-old was in his car on Saturday when he approached two boys, age 5 and 7, as they were in front of their home, according to police. Bargrum allegedly offered the young boys candy to get into his red vehicle, when the children's father was nearby and went up to the vehicle. Bargrum fled the scene, but was caught on Tuesday, police said.