A Galloway Township man was arrested Thursday night after police say he tried to lure a young girl into his car in Atlantic City.
The 12-year-old girl’s mother called police to the 100 block of North Delaware Avenue at about 8:25 p.m.
She told police that she and her daughter were walking the dog toward the corner store when the woman saw a car approach her daughter and stop.
The girl stopped walking and was listening to the driver until her mother yelled to him and he drove off, Lt. Kevin Fair said.
The driver told her she was cute and asked if she wanted a ride, the girl later told Officer Adrian Nunez-Santos.
“Be on the lookout for a small car painted red, white and blue with two American flags hanging on the break lights w/TRUMP on the rear window!” the woman wrote in a Facebook post after the incident. “He’s a old white man w/ a bald or almost bald head! This creepy bastard pulled his car over and ask my baby to get in his car….Thank God I was there and she wasn’t by herself.”
Nunez-Santos saw the vehicle more than an hour later in the area of South Carolina and Pacific avenues, and pulled it over, Fair said.
The woman later posted video of the car stop.
Gaetano Reale, 59, was positively identified and arrested without incident.
He is charged with luring a minor into a motor vehicle and several motor vehicle summons.
Reale was taken to the Atlantic County Justice Facility.
“I pray nothing like that happens again,” the mother told BreakingAC. “You read about things like that happening but … to see with my own eyes is an eye-opener. It can happen to any baby out here.”
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Atlantic City police at 609-347-5766. Information may also be texted anonymously to tip411 (847411), beginning the text with ACPD.
Note: The Atlantic County Justice Facility no longer provides mugshots to the media, citing the Atlantic County prosecutor’s order. The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office says it’s part of the Attorney General’s Guidelines. There is no such guideline, according to the Attorney General’s Office, but they have told these offices for years that they should not release any photos that appear to be mugshots.