On May 9, 2013 Astoria Police responded to a report of a male subject trying to pull a juvenile female into the bathroom at the Astoria Library. The investigation revealed that Joseph W. Posada, age 45, had been on the computers at the Astoria Library across from a 12 year old female. Posada had been making gestures at the 12 year old. As he walked by her he grabbed her by the wrist. She recoiled, pulling free, and told him to get away. The 12 year old then got the attention of both library staff and a friend. He continued to gesture toward her as if he wanted her to follow him toward the bathrooms at the Astoria Library.
Astoria Police confirmed the story with witnesses. They consulted with the District Attorney on charges and lodged Posada on charges of Harassment, Attempted Kidnap I, and Disorderly Conduct.
In this case the 12 year old female acted to protect herself. When Posada made her uncomfortable at the computer she went to get help. When he grabbed her she made sure others knew what had happened.
While this case is isolated, parents should talk to their children about safety issues. Children need to know that they can call to others for help and should ensure that others know when someone is making them uncomfortable. Parents looking for resources can go to www.missingkids.com/safety for more information.