MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A second attempted kidnapping at a Jewish Community Center in Kendall is under investigation.
A little more than a week after man was arrested for allegedly trying to kidnap a child from the center, another attempted kidnapping is under investigation.
According to Miami-Dade Police, it happened July 8th but the incident was reported to police, by the 9-year old girl on July 10th.
She said a man, who is yet to be identified, grabbed her from behind in a bear hug and tried to pull her towards the restrooms.
She started to scream, so the man let her go and left.
The child, in this case, was unable to describe or identify the person who did it. Police continue to investigate the incident.
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Just days after the incident, Dean Beck, 39, was arrested at the JCC on July 10th and charged with attempted kidnapping after police say he tried to pull a little girl into the men’s bathroom at the JCC located at 11155 SW 112th Ave.
Beck has since been banned from the JCC.
JCC Director Ed Rosen said Beck is a long-time member at the JCC who participated in the center’s special needs fitness program.
He said Beck has “intellectual disabilities”, but investigators found him to be competent during questioning.
CBS4’s Marybel Rodriguez went to Beck’s home but no one answered the door. A neighbor, however, who did not want to be identified did express her concern and said “It makes me a bit worried and concerned someone living so close my whole life is capable of that”.
When the incident happened last week, an off-duty officer and camp counselors rushed over to help and the six-year-old girl was able to get away unharmed.
The JCC sent a letter home with kids the same day of the incident to inform parents of what had happened.
The letter begins by stating the safety of campers is the camp’s first priority. After detailing what occurred, the letter states: “this was an isolated incident, we want you to be aware that during summer camp we have a security guard on site as well as security cameras around campus.”
“As a parent and grandparent it is something I am quite upset that happened. It could have been my grandchild,” said Rosen. “We are not taking this lightly and are being proactive and doing everything we can to prevent this from happening again.”
Rosen says he understands parents concerns and he wants them to know they are doing all they can and have to do to make sure the kids are safe.
“We will be getting magnet doors to secure the facility and adding extra security cameras as well as anything else we would have to do we will do,” Rosen said.
Police said Beck is a registered sex offender stemming from an incident over a decade ago.
“On the surface I find it difficult to even understand why there would be someone who’s a special needs person walking around the premises here with access to a lot of kids without any supervision,” said Rodriguez.
Rosen said that background checks are performed on all camp counselors and staff, but that they are now in the process of reviewing their membership backgrounds to weed out sexual offenders and predators—something most parents are in favor of.
“My kids have been here all summer having a really good time. I trust them–I know they will make sure something like this never happens again,” said Ana Perez.
Next week they will hold a meeting for all members and the community to answer questions. The date and time have yet to be determined but everyone will be notified.
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