Alleged child luring incidents in Pittsfield still an 'active investigation'


PITTSFIELD >> Police offered no more information and provided no updates to school officials concerning alleged attempts by a man to lure two city students into a van Wednesday morning.

Pittsfield Police Lt. Gary Traversa said the incidents "remain under active investigation" by the department's Detective Bureau.

"It's in the Detective Bureau's hands at this point," Traversa said. "Until I get the OK from them I can't comment."

Pittsfield Public Schools Superintendent Jason "Jake" McCandless said Thursday, "Any new information we receive, we'll certainly share."

He added that city schools experienced "no substantive dip" in attendance on Thursday as a result of the alleged incidents.

"I was actually surprised, considering it was the Thursday heading into a long holiday weekend," McCandless said.

The first incident occurred around 6:55 a.m. on Wednesday.

The students' reports were credible straight off, McCandless said, as both provided "consistent" descriptions of "the vehicle [a blue van] and the person."

The student who the man allegedly approached first, a Reid Middle School girl, ducked into a North Street convenience store and had the clerk phone the police.

She provided the clerk both a description of the driver and the van's license plate number.

A statement by Police Capt. John Mullin released Wednesday evening said police were able to track down and speak to the registered owner of the van in question, and that they were "no longer looking for that vehicle."

About the perceived dissonance in this message — that police would no longer be looking for a vehicle involved in an active investigation — Traversa said "take that for what it's worth."

"The Detective Bureau is still working on statements," Traversa said.

"We have great faith in and feel gratefulness towards the police for taking these reports seriously," McCandless said. "We're trying to be patient and respectful as the police process continues."

Contact Phil Demers at 413-496-6214.


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