Camera phone used as crime-stopper

Teen's photos reportedly led to alleged assailant's arrest


Aug. 1 — Putting a new technology to an unanticipated use, a teenage
boy in New Jersey used his camera cell phone to snap photos of a man
who tried to lure him into his car, providing evidence that led to the
alleged assailant's arrest, it was reported Friday.

Police praised the teen for having the ‘presence of mind to use the
technology under duress.'

POLICE IN CLIFTON, N.J., told The Record newspaper that the
15-year-old boy was walking home at about 7 p.m. Tuesday when a man in
a white, older model Ford pulled up and urged him to get into the car.
"He offered to drive the boy to Passaic to look for girls,"
police Detective Capt. Robert Rowan told the paper. "He then started
engaging in a sexually explicit conversation."
The teen, who was not identified, told the man to leave him
alone, but the would-be abductor continued to follow him until the boy
pulled out his cell phone and began snapping photos. At that point the
man jumped out of the vehicle and grabbed the youth by the arm, police
"A struggle ensued and the boy was able to pull away and run,"
said Rowan, who praised the teen for having the "presence of mind to
use the technology under duress."

The boy later called his brother, who took him to police to
report the incident.
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The photos of the man were blurry, but police were able to make out
the car's license plate number in a shot taken as the man sped away.
On Wednesday, they arrested 59-year-old William MacDonald, a
Passaic bartender, and charged him with attempting to lure a juvenile
into a car, criminal restraint and assault. MacDonald, who faces up to
five years in jail if convicted, remains jailed in lieu of $25,000
Kathleen Donleavy, a spokeswoman for Sprint, told the newspaper
that she had never before heard of someone using one of the camera
cell phones, which have been available in the United States for less
than a year, to foil a crime.

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