Suffolk County police arrested a Huntington Station man for allegedly stalking a teen while she was walking to her bus stop for more than a month.
Celso Garcia Mendez approached a 13-year-old female and allegedly handed her a note as she was walking to her bus stop on Sixth Avenue in Huntington Station on Feb. 8 at approximately 7:30 a.m. Garcia Mendez, 25, left in a silver Chrysler sedan. Officers obtained a description of the man, surveyed the area and identified the suspect.
South Huntington School officials said they were informed of the incident Feb. 8. They issued a stranger danger alert on the school district’s website and encouraged the community to report any further suspicious activity to the district and the police.
An investigation by 2nd Precinct Crime Section officers determined Garcia Mendez had approached and attempted to communicate with the teen, who previously asked him to stop, near her bus stop for approximately one month.
Garcia Mendez was charged with fourth-degree stalking and endangering the welfare of a child. He was scheduled for arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip on Feb. 9.
Following the arrest, the school district posted an update announcing Garcia Mendez’s arrest on their website.
“We are pleased to inform you as a result of the cooperation between South Huntington schools, 2nd Precinct, and the family, the individual described in yesterday’s stranger danger message was arrested this morning,” read the district’s post. “This is an important reminder that the strength and safety of our community rests on the communication between all constituents.”
Superintendent David Bennardo and Stimson Middle School Principal Edwin Smith also thanked local law enforcement for their quick response. They asked South Huntington parents to make sure to discuss personal safety and the importance of reporting suspicious activity with their children.
This post was updated Feb. 9 at 10:45 a.m. with additional information.