SCOTIA – A Delanson man has been arrested in connection with a Scotia child stalking case after police asked for the public’s help and released photos of a truck late last week.
The man is identified in allegations filed in court as Craig S. Bemis, 64, of Delanson.
Bemis was charged Saturday with one count each of endangering the welfare of a child and fourth-degree stalking, both misdemeanors.
Bemis is accused of, intentionally and for no legitimate purpose, following a 13-year-old girl to school on consecutive mornings last week, Wednesday and Thursday and asking her if she wanted a ride, according to allegations filed by police in court.
Police later also said Bemis is a person of interest in a separate incident involving a 17-year-old girl who was also approached.
The 13-year-old girl initially reported to police that a man in a white pickup truck had approached her on consecutive mornings as she walked to summer school, according to the allegations.
The man initially asked her for directions. She responded she couldn’t help him and continued walking. The man then continued to follow her and asked if she wanted a ride. She refused and continued walking, according to the allegations.
The vehicle then pulled away, circled the block and then continued following her to school, the girl told police, according to the allegations.
The girl described the man and his truck to police.
Police received the reports at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday put out a release to the public detailing the incidents and the descriptions of the man and the truck, including that the truck had a foul odor emanating from it.
They also found and released images of the truck captured on surveillance video.
Police then used the surveillance video to narrow down the list of possible owners and then zeroed in on a truck linked to Bemis. Police went to Bemis’ residence and soon made contact with him, according to the allegations.
He allegedly admitted to being in Scotia to pick someone up for a job, according to the allegations. He also allegedly eventually admitted to asking someone “in her late 30s” for directions. Bemis, however, soon ended the questioning after police confronted him with the person’s age, according to the allegations. Police then arrested him.
“We encourage all children and parents to report any suspicious activity involving their children and strangers to the authorities,” Police Chief Daniel Harrigan said in a statement Monday. “Our Detectives worked really hard identifying this suspect and getting the information to me as quickly as possible. This was an example of excellent police work.”
Police processed him and released him to appear in court later.