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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A child molester is on the loose in Highland Park, according to authorities, who asked for the public's help in solving a troubling crime in the borough.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Stephen J. Rizco of the Highland Park Police Department (HPPD) issued a joint statement on August 29 that described an incident where an 11-year-old girl was " improperly touched" by an unidentified man on the South side of town.
"The man is described as white, between 30 and 40 years old, has short spiked hair and is unshaven. He last was seen wearing a gray T-shirt and black shorts."
The incident happened on August 28 at about 9:25pm, as the young girl went to her family's vehicle to retrieve a cellular phone.
"The man improperly touched the girl and fled toward Donaldson Park when she began screaming," read the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) statement, which was released to members of the at 3:14pm the following day.
The announcement provided another example of an error by MCPO spokesperson James O'Neill, who removed all of this newspaper's reporters from the list of email addresses that receive his agency's public statements.
New Brunswick Today obtained the press release despite the media blackout, along with O'Neill's follow-up email asking journalists not to reveal which street in the borough the victim lives on, a fact that he had included in the statement.
"Regarding the release of information on the assault incident in Highland Park: We have been asked to withhold the name of the street where the attack occurred," wrote O'Neill nearly one hour after his initial statement. "If you can delete the name of the street, this would be greatly appreciated."
As we reported, O'Neill had previously admitted to making a "blunder" when he announced the arrest of an Edison man before he had actually been apprehended earlier this year.
The official statement said the investigation was led by Detective Sean McGraw of the HPPD and Detective Mark Morris of the MCPO.
"No arrests have been made, but the investigation is active and is continuing," reads the statement.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective McGraw at (732) 572-3800, extension 4263.