Schenectady County

Man accused of grabbing child outside Schenectady school

A Schenectady man is accused of impersonating a police officer Wednesday and grabbing a 6-year-old c
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A city man is accused of impersonating a police officer Wednesday and grabbing a 6-year-old child outside a city elementary school.

Eugene Smith, 54, of Eastern Avenue, grabbed the child while she walked on the sidewalk near the Elmer Avenue School at about 3 p.m, according to papers filed in court.

The girl was walking to her father’s car, and the father confronted Smith, police said.

“The father was concerned and irate and asked him ‘What are you doing?’” police spokesman Officer Kevin Green said.

Smith told the child’s father that he was a police officer “getting rid of pedophiles,” according to papers filed in court. Smith later claimed to police he was simply helping the girl.

Smith fled, but police caught up with him on Eastern Avenue, near Price Chopper. He was charged with first-degree criminal impersonation, a felony, endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, and second-degree harassment, a violation.

The incident follows one in October where Smith called out to two children, offering them money “to come see him,” according to papers filed in that case. The children refused and he responded by offering them candy. The children then ran and told their mother.

Smith was charged in that case with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. He pleaded guilty and was fined $100, court officials said.

Smith was arraigned on the new charges Thursday in City Court and sent to the Schenectady County jail on $5,000 cash bail or $15,000 bond.

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