A few weeks ago, I went to Newark Airport to pick up a friend. I dropped him at the PATH.
This isn't really particularly noteworthy, except that when I walked to get my car at my garage, a man called to me from a stoop about 40 feet from my garage.
He was holding up a kitten.
"Do you want a kitten?"
Startled, I just laughed and shook my head. I thought for a second, "Can that work? Can accosting strangers on the street actually get rid of kittens?"
Apparently not. And apparently he tried this on a number of people.
Fast forward to a few hours ago. I'd used my car to go to the A&P. I went through the Sixth Street Car Wash then headed over to Colgate to put away my car.
The block was full of cops, all double-parked. I thought it was some kind of event or gathering. It never occurred to me that they were investigating a case in this little neighborly pocket of JC, nicknamed the "Italian Village."
It turns out that last night, a 12-year-old girl was riding her bike, when the free-kitten guy somehow got her into his house. He lives there with his mother, who was not into the idea that her son was trying to get the pants off a 12-year-old kid. Free-kitten-man took the girl into a building behind where he lived with his mother. He handcuffed her and went to argue with his mother.
The girl slipped out of the handcuffs, climbed out the second-floor window, ran down the fire escape, found her bike, and biked home to tell her mother.
What a brave little girl! And what a creepy man.
I wonder if he lured her into the house with the kittens.
The story is reported here.