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Photo Finish
Camera Phone Helps Foil Alleged Abduction Attempt
The Associated Press

CLIFTON, N.J., Aug. 1— A 15-year-old boy foiled a kidnap attempt when he pulled out his cell phone camera, snapped photos of the man trying to lure him into a car, as well as the vehicle's license plate, police said.

The teen gave the evidence to police, who arrested a suspect the next day.

"It's surprising the kid had the presence of mind to use the technology under duress," Det. Capt. Robert Rowan told The Record of Bergen County.

A spokeswoman for Sprint, whose phone the boy used, said she had never heard of someone using the new technology to catch a criminal.

Close Encounter

The teen, whose name was not released by police, was walking home about 7 p.m. Tuesday when a man, later identified by police as William MacDonald, pulled up in a older model white Ford, Rowan said.

"He offered to drive the boy to Passaic to look for girls," said Rowan. "He then started engaging in a sexually explicit conversation. The kid naturally didn't want to have anything to do with the guy, but he kept following him. The juvenile told him he wasn't interested and had to go home."

At that point, the boy took the pictures, and MacDonald got out of his car and grabbed the teen by the arm, Rowan said. A struggle followed, but the boy was able to break free and run away.

He ran onto a bus and rode to Paterson, where he called his brother on the cell phone. His brother picked him up and took him to police headquarters.

MacDonald, 59, of Passaic, was charged with attempting to lure a juvenile into a car, criminal restraint and simple assault. If convicted, he could face up to five years in state prison. He is being held in the Passaic County Jail on $25,000 bail.
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