A man grabbed and tried to abduct a boy on Long Island, but the child was able to break free with the help of a passerby, police said.
The 12-year-old boy was walking alone from a friend's house along North Brookside Avenue in Freeport on Tuesday evening when the man crept up to him from behind, right near the ball field and playground, according to police.
"There was no verbal exhange at all," said Nassau Det. Lt. Richard Labrun. "Basically, that perpetrator came up from behind that individual, he grabbed the 12 year old, and he put his hand around his mouth."
As the child was struggling to break free, someone in a vehicle nearby started honking their horn.
The man let go of the boy and took off south down North Brookside Avenue, police said.
No injuries were reported.
Police advised parents to talk to their children and show them where safe locations are, places where they can get help; remind them it's OK to say "no" when strangers approach and do anything they can to get away -- kick, bite, scream; and form a buddy system when walking home.
"We have hundreds of thousands of children walking home from school. And that's why again we intensified our patrols all around that area, all around schools, we're working on real-time intelligence," said Labrun. "We basically have every police officer in Nassau County aware of this situation."
Police described the man as in his 30s with a stocky build and said he was wearing a green jacket and jeans.