UPDATE: Man Arrested After Approaching, Scaring Child in Springs

Springs School asks the parents to review "stranger danger" protocol with children in light of incident.

Update, Oct. 19, 12:30 p.m.: East Hampton Town police identified the man who was arrested after he approached to a Springs School student on her way home from school as Mariano Melchor-Galindo, 35, of East Hampton.

Previously: Parents received word on Thursday that a student was approached by a strange man while walking home from school on Wednesday afternoon.

Eric M. Casale, the principal at Springs School, sent a note to parents on Thursday morning to alert them of a safety concern. He said East Hampton Town police contacted him last night after a man riding a bike approached a student.

"The man tried to approach the child but the child followed the stranger danger protocol and ran away home to report the incident to his/her parents," Casale said. "The police were notified. Due to the child’s comprehensive description of the man, the police were able to apprehend and arrest the individual."

East Hampton Town Police Chief Ed Ecker said the middle-aged man made inappropriate comments toward a 9-year-old girl in the area of Parsons Lane. "That scares and frightens her. She runs home," Ecker said. "She gets out of there pretty quickly. She sounds like a pretty savvy kid." 

Using the description of the man the girl provided, police located him at the Barnes General Store. The man was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, which is levied when a defendant is accused of "acting in a manner injurious to a child's physical, mental and moral welfare," Ecker said.

His name was not immediately available.

"It was not an attempted abduction," Ecker confirmed.

"We are asking our teachers and our parents to please spend some time going over protocols with our children regarding how to deal with strangers. This is even more important as Halloween is around the corner and many kids will be out," Casale said. "I would like to commend the East Hampton Police Department for the way they handled this issue."

Casale said the school would sent home a letter with the children, as well.

The letter was circulated to other school districts, as well.

John Pine October 23, 2012 at 05:09 AM
I have good friends who are hispanic as well. But how can you be OK with people who are not in the country legally? How does having 20 guys loitering around in a 7-11 parking lot help the community? I remember when East Hampton removed the S92 Bus stop from Newtown because it was located near a school, and the day laborers hanging around there was definately a problem for the kids. Of course they are here because people pick them up. There has been a change on the East End from a peaceful rural community to one full of Citiots and snobs, who hire these men and not pay any taxes. People need to THINK about the changes in their communities and voice their concerns to elected officials. Think about what we've lost and perhaps find a way to get it back. Because we certainly dont need to turn LI into the city.
ViralGrain October 23, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Totally agree with you. But the approach to this is simple yet complex. Major industries such as fast food, dept. stores, and others like the immigration policies the way they are. That is why there has been little to no change in them for so long even the the elephant in the room is obvious to us all every where in the country. They not only like the immigration policies the way they are, but they pay lobbyists to get in the ears of the people in Washington and local gov. and contribute big sums of money in sly way to those political campaigns to actually fight reform. The reasoning behind this practice is that it keeps the bottom line down for everyone. It keeps min. wages low and makes for better profits for them. I can not dam the individual who comes here and wants to be a productive citizen, and feed them selves and provide for their loved ones. I have much respect for them as they struggle on in the face of adversity as do we. None of us benefit from the immigration situation except business owners and major corporations. If we really were serious about reform we would honor The Constitution and what America's foundation is and not try to deprive anyone of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but in a way that benefits all of us equally. By capitalizing off migrant workers by placing them in a substantially higher tax bracket, then residents in a lower tax, and citizens in the lowest tax bracket we would generate allot of money for our country. Will never happen.
1/2 n 1/2, 2 sugars October 24, 2012 at 11:15 AM
Hey Walter, if anyone needs a deep breath here it's you, not Ann. Sounds like your brain could use some more oxygen. Blame the kid...? Nice, real nice.
1/2 n 1/2, 2 sugars October 24, 2012 at 11:16 AM
He was also drunk...
1/2 n 1/2, 2 sugars October 24, 2012 at 11:23 AM
" what is being called for is the potential ruin of an INNOCENT persons reputation" ????????????? Am I here right now?????? How about an innocent little girls life? You are virtually convicting this child without knowing what you are talking about Walter! Guys like you are just another reason we have these, dare I say, illegal dirtbags in our community. Give the sap sucking liberalism a break... DEFEND OUR CHILDREN!!!


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